Dynamic transcriptome profiling exploring cold tolerance in forensically important blow fly, aldrichina grahami (diptera: Calliphoridae)

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Abstract

Background: Aldrichina grahami (Diptera: Calliphoridae) is a forensically important fly, which has been widely applied to practical legal investigations. Unlike other necrophagous flies, A. grahami exhibits cold tolerance which helps to maintain its activity during low-temperature months, when other species are usually not active. Hence, A. grahami is considered an important forensic insect especially in cold seasons. In this study, we aim to explore the molecular mechanisms of cold tolerance of A. grahami through transcriptome. Results: We collected eggs and larvae (first-instar, second-instar and third-instar) at three different temperatures (4 °C, 12 °C and 20 °C) and performed RNA-seq analyses. The differentially expressed genes (DEGs) associated with the cold-tolerance were screened out. The Venn analysis of DEGs from egg to third-instar larvae at three different temperatures showed there were 9 common genes. Candidate biological processes and genes were identified which refer to growth, and development of different temperatures, especially the chitin and cuticle metabolic process. The series-clusters showed crucial and unique trends when the temperature changed. Moreover, by comparing the results of growth and developmental transcriptomes from different temperatures, we found that DEGs belonging to the family of larval cuticle proteins (LCP), pupal cuticle protein (CUP), and heat shock proteins (HSP) have certain differences. Conclusions: This study identified functional genes and showed differences in the expression pattern of diverse temperatures. The DEGs series-clusters with increasing or decreasing trends were analyzed which may play an important role in cold-tolerance. Moreover, the findings in LCP, CUP and HSP showed more possible modulations in a cold environment. This work will provide valuable information for the future investigation of the molecular mechanism of cold tolerance in A. grahami.

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Liu, Z., Han, H., Meng, F., Jiang, Y., & Cai, J. (2020). Dynamic transcriptome profiling exploring cold tolerance in forensically important blow fly, aldrichina grahami (diptera: Calliphoridae). BMC Genomics, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-020-6509-0

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