International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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Identification and expression patterns of odorant binding proteins in the termite Reticulitermes speratus

Ryohei Suzuki, Ryohei Suzuki , Masaru Hojo , Yoshinobu Hayashi , Shuji Shigenobu , Kiyoto Maekawa
Graduate School of Science and Engineering, University of Toyama; Graduate School of Science and Engineering, University of Toyama ; Kwansei Gakuin University ; Department of Biology, Keio University ; National Institute for Basic Biology ; Graduate School of Science and Engineering, University of Toyama
Caste differentiation of social insects is regulated by inter-individual interaction among colony members. In termite colonies, some regulatory pheromonal substances have been identified in several species as analytic technology progresses. However, intra-individual reception and signaling system is still unclear. One of the candidate interactive systems is chemosensory perception via pheromonal substances. Here, we focused on the expression of genes involved in the process of reception of chemical compounds, odorant binding proteins (OBPs), in the rhinotermitid termite Reticulitermes speratus. First, we searched OBPs from R. speratus genome, using blast and HMM search, and found 31 gene sequences. Next, we performed RNA-seq analysis in the head parts among three castes (reproductives, workers and soldiers). Results showed that expression levels of 12 out of 31 OBPs obtained were significantly fluctuated among castes. Finally, we conducted real-time qPCR analysis of these 12 OBPs between antennae and the other head parts in workers. Highly expression levels in the antennae were observed in 8 out of 12 OBPs examined. These results suggest that most OBPs with different expression patterns among castes are involved in chemosensory events and task of each caste in termites.