Engineered expression of the invertebrate‐specific scorpion toxin AaHIT reduces adult longevity and female fecundity in the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella

Harvey‐Samuel, T. D., Xu, X., Lovett, E., Dafa'alla, T., Walker, A., Norman, V. C., Carter, R., Teal, J., Akilan, L., Leftwich, P. T., Reitmayer, C. M., Siddiqui, H. A. and Alphey, L. (2021) Engineered expression of the invertebrate‐specific scorpion toxin AaHIT reduces adult longevity and female fecundity in the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella. Pest Management Science. ISSN 1526-4998

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Abstract

Background: Previous Genetic Pest Management (GPM) systems in diamondback moth (DBM) have relied on expressing lethal proteins (‘effectors’) that are ‘cell‐autonomous’ i.e. do not leave the cell they are expressed in. To increase the flexibility of future GPM systems in DBM, we aimed to assess the use of a non cell‐autonomous, invertebrate‐specific, neurotoxic effector – the scorpion toxin AaHIT. This AaHIT effector was designed to be secreted by expressing cells, potentially leading to effects on distant cells, specifically neuromuscular junctions. Results: Expression of AaHIT caused a ‘shaking/quivering’ phenotype which could be repressed by provision of an antidote (tetracycline); a phenotype consistent with the AaHIT mode‐of‐action. This effect was more pronounced when AaHIT expression was driven by the Hr5/ie1 promoter (82.44% of males, 65.14% of females) rather than Op/ie2 (57.35% of males, 48.39% of females). Contrary to expectations, the shaking phenotype and observed fitness costs were limited to adults where they caused severe reductions in mean longevity (‐81%) and median female fecundity (‐93%). qPCR of AaHIT expression patterns and analysis of piggyBac‐mediated transgene insertion sites suggest that restriction of observed effects to the adult stages may be due to influence of local genomic environment on the tetO‐AaHIT transgene. Conclusion: We have demonstrated the feasibility of using non cell‐autonomous effectors within a GPM context for the first time in the Lepidoptera, one of the most economically damaging orders of insects. These findings provide a framework for extending this system to other pest Lepidoptera and to other secreted effectors.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ridl,genetic biocontrol,genetic pest management,neurotoxin,non-cell-autonomous,tet-off,agronomy and crop science,insect science ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1102
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2021 00:42
Last Modified: 09 May 2021 00:11
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/79405
DOI: 10.1002/ps.6353

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