Tissue-specific transcriptomics, chromosomal localization, and phylogeny of chemosensory and odorant binding proteins from the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum reveal subgroup specificities for olfaction or more general functions
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Background Chemoreception is based on the senses of smell and taste that are crucial for animals to find new food sources, shelter, and mates. The initial step in olfaction involves the translocation of odorants from the periphery through the aqueous lymph of the olfactory sensilla to the odorant receptors most likely by chemosensory proteins (CSPs) or odorant binding proteins (OBPs). Results To better understand the roles of CSPs and OBPs in a coleopteran pest species, the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae), we performed transcriptome analyses of male and female antennae, heads, mouthparts, legs, and bodies, which revealed that all 20 CSPs and 49 of the 50 previously annotated OBPs are transcribed. Only six of the 20 CSP are significantly transcriptionally enriched in the main chemosensory tissues (antenna and/or mouthparts), whereas of the OBPs all eight members of the antenna binding proteins II (ABPII) subgroup, 18 of the 20 classic OBP subgroup, the C + OBP, and only five of the 21 C-OBPs show increased chemosensory tissue expression. By MALDI-TOF-TOF MS protein fingerprinting, we confirmed three CSPs, four ABPIIs, three classic OBPs, and four C-OBPs in the antennae. Conclusions Most of the classic OBPs and all ABPIIs are likely involved in chemoreception. A few are also present in other tissues such as odoriferous glands and testes and may be involved in release or transfer of chemical signals. The majority of the CSPs as well as the C-OBPs are not enriched in antennae or mouthparts, suggesting a more general role in the transport of hydrophobic molecules.
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