Identification and gene expression analysis of Hexamerin storage protein in diapausing and non-diapausing insects of Sunn pest, Eurygaster integriceps

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Plant Protection, University College of Agricultural and Natural Resources, University of Tehran

2 Plant Protection Department, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

3 Department of Plant Protection, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

4 Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC- Pompeu Fabra University), Barcelona, Spain


Diapause is a physiological adaptation that allows an organism to survive adverse environmental conditions. Sunn pest, Eurygaster integriceps (Heteroptera: Scutelleridae), is a key pest of wheat and barley and univoltine species and its life cycle has two different phases, reproductive phase, and adult stage diapause. In this study, the gene expression patterns of Hexamerin storage protein were evaluated by quantitative Real-Time PCR assay in diapause and non-diapause female insects, in the Sunn pest’s fat body. The Hexamerin gene expression in diapausing females of sunn pest was 6.4 times higher than in non-diapausing females. The results of subcellular localization and signal peptide prediction suggested that the protein was categorized as an extracellular protein. According to phylogenetic analysis and multiple alignment analysis of the Sunn pest’s Hexamerin amino acid sequence and other bugs belonging to the Hemiptera order, the amino acid sequence was placed at clade belonging to the Hemiptera order (with 100 bootstrap number) and revealed high similarity and closeness to brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys Hexamerin gene amino acid sequence (identity 62.6%). Identifying the Hexamerin gene as a reliable biochemical indicator for Sunn pest diapause can be a proper and valuable candidate for further studies at the cellular and molecular levels in this pest.


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