Publications by authors named "Zu-Lian Liu"

3 Publications

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Disruption of egg-specific protein causes female sterility in Bombyx mori.

Insect Sci 2021 Feb 24. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Key Laboratory of Insect Developmental and Evolutionary Biology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 200032, China.

Yolk proteins are the main source of nutrients during embryonic and early larval development in oviparous animals. Therefore, vitellogenesis is crucial for reproduction. The silkworm, Bombyx mori, is a model lepidopteran insect in which there are three yolk proteins: vitellin, 30-kDa protein, and egg-specific protein (Esp). In this study, we explored the gene function of Esp through transgenic clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR) / CRISPR-associated protein 9 technology-mediated mutations in the silkworm. We found that Esp mutation resulted in female sterility but had no effect on male fertility. Female mutants could lay eggs after mating, but the eggs were smaller and lighter colored than those laid by wild-type females. The most important finding is that the eggs laid by female mutants did not hatch. Furthermore, we observed stable inheritance of female sterility caused by Esp mutation through successive generations. Thus, Esp encodes a yolk protein that is crucial for female reproductive success and is a potential target for pest control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1744-7917.12904DOI Listing
February 2021

MicroRNA-2738 regulates gene expression in the sex determination pathway in Bombyx mori.

Insect Sci 2020 Aug 17;27(4):646-654. Epub 2019 Jun 17.

CAS Key Laboratory of Insect Developmental and Evolutionary Biology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, CAS, Shanghai, China.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of short, non-coding transcripts that bind to 3'-untranslated regions to trigger messenger RNA degradation or translational inhibition. Here we explored how miRNAs regulate sex determination in Bombyx mori, a lepidopteran model insect. Genes known to be involved in sex determination, BmPSI, Bmdsx, and BmMasc, are predicted targets of the species-specific miR-2738. Using a dual luciferase reporter assay in HEK293T cells, we confirmed that miR-2738 suppressed transcription of BmPSI, Bmdsx, and BmMasc. The levels of BmPSI and BmMasc were significantly down-regulated in B. mori miR-2738 overexpression. In contrast, the genetic disruption of miR-2738 using the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 transgenic system increased the levels of BmPSI and BmMasc transcripts, whereas splicing of Bmdsx was unaltered by miR-2738 depletion or overexpression. Taken together, this study implicates miR-2738 as a minor regulator of sex determination genes in the silkworm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1744-7917.12694DOI Listing
August 2020

CRISPR disruption of TCTP gene impaired normal development in the silkworm Bombyx mori.

Insect Sci 2019 Dec 19;26(6):973-982. Epub 2018 Feb 19.

Key Laboratory of Insect Developmental and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

The translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) is a highly conserved and multifunctional protein with activities ranging from cytoskeletal regulation to transcription regulation in numerous organisms. In insects, TCTP is essential for cell growth and proliferation. Recently, TCTP has been reported to affect the innate intestinal immune pathway in the Bombyx mori silkworm, a lepidopteran model insect. However, the comprehensive physiological roles of TCTP in the silkworm remain poorly understood. Here, we performed functional analysis of BmTCTP by using a binary transgenic CRISPR/Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat/RNA-guided CRISPER-associated protein 9 nucleases) system. Disruption of BmTCTP led to developmental arrestment and subsequent lethality in third instar larvae. Histological analysis revealed that growth impairment originated from decreased cell size, and the proliferation and differentiation of intestinal epithelial cells were also affected. RNA-seq analysis revealed that genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, lipid metabolism and digestive system pathways were significantly affected by BmTCTP depletion. Together, the results demonstrated that BmTCTP plays a key role in controlling larval growth and development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1744-7917.12567DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7380024PMC
December 2019