Indexed on: 23 Jul '13Published on: 23 Jul '13Published in: PloS one
Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, live socially in microbial-rich habitats. To understand the molecular mechanism by which termites combat pathogenic microbes, a full-length normalized cDNA library and four Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) libraries were constructed from termite workers infected with entomopathogenic fungi (Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana), Gram-positive Bacillus thuringiensis and Gram-negative Escherichia coli, and the libraries were analyzed. From the high quality normalized cDNA library, 439 immune-related sequences were identified. These sequences were categorized as pattern recognition receptors (47 sequences), signal modulators (52 sequences), signal transducers (137 sequences), effectors (39 sequences) and others (164 sequences). From the SSH libraries, 27, 17, 22 and 15 immune-related genes were identified from each SSH library treated with M. anisopliae, B. bassiana, B. thuringiensis and E. coli, respectively. When the normalized cDNA library was compared with the SSH libraries, 37 immune-related clusters were found in common; 56 clusters were identified in the SSH libraries, and 259 were identified in the normalized cDNA library. The immune-related gene expression pattern was further investigated using quantitative real time PCR (qPCR). Important immune-related genes were characterized, and their potential functions were discussed based on the integrated analysis of the results. We suggest that normalized cDNA and SSH libraries enable us to discover functional genes transcriptome. The results remarkably expand our knowledge about immune-inducible genes in C. formosanus Shiraki and enable the future development of novel control strategies for the management of Formosan subterranean termites.