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Open Access Research article

Transcriptome analysis of reproductive tissue and intrauterine developmental stages of the tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans morsitans)

Geoffrey M Attardo1, José MC Ribeiro2, Yineng Wu1, Matthew Berriman3 and Serap Aksoy1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

2 Section of Vector Biology, Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Md, USA

3 Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, CB10 1SA, UK

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BMC Genomics 2010, 11:160  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-160

Published: 9 March 2010

Abstract

Background

Tsetse flies, vectors of African trypanosomes, undergo viviparous reproduction (the deposition of live offspring). This reproductive strategy results in a large maternal investment and the deposition of a small number of progeny during a female's lifespan. The reproductive biology of tsetse has been studied on a physiological level; however the molecular analysis of tsetse reproduction requires deeper investigation. To build a foundation from which to base molecular studies of tsetse reproduction, a cDNA library was generated from female tsetse (Glossina morsitans morsitans) reproductive tissues and the intrauterine developmental stages. 3438 expressed sequence tags were sequenced and analyzed.

Results

Analysis of a nonredundant catalogue of 1391 contigs resulted in 520 predicted proteins. 475 of these proteins were full length. We predict that 412 of these represent cytoplasmic proteins while 57 are secreted. Comparison of these proteins with other tissue specific tsetse cDNA libraries (salivary gland, fat body/milk gland, and midgut) identified 51 that are unique to the reproductive/immature cDNA library. 11 unique proteins were homologus to uncharacterized putative proteins within the NR database suggesting the identification of novel genes associated with reproductive functions in other insects (hypothetical conserved). The analysis also yielded seven putative proteins without significant homology to sequences present in the public database (unknown genes). These proteins may represent unique functions associated with tsetse's viviparous reproductive cycle. RT-PCR analysis of hypothetical conserved and unknown contigs was performed to determine basic tissue and stage specificity of the expression of these genes.

Conclusion

This paper identifies 51 putative proteins specific to a tsetse reproductive/immature EST library. 11 of these proteins correspond to hypothetical conserved genes and 7 proteins are tsetse specific.