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Open Access Research article

Microarray-based gene expression profiles of silkworm brains

Ling Gan, Xilong Liu, Zhonghuai Xiang and Ningjia He*

Author affiliations

The Key Sericultural Laboratory of Agricultural Ministry, College of Biotechnology, Southwest University, Beibei, Chongqing 400715, PR China

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Citation and License

BMC Neuroscience 2011, 12:8  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-12-8

Published: 19 January 2011



Molecular genetic studies of Bombyx mori have led to profound advances in our understanding of the regulation of development. Bombyx mori brain, as a main endocrine organ, plays important regulatory roles in various biological processes. Microarray technology will allow the genome-wide analysis of gene expression patterns in silkworm brains.


We reported microarray-based gene expression profiles in silkworm brains at four stages including V7, P1, P3 and P5. A total of 4,550 genes were transcribed in at least one selected stage. Of these, clustering algorithms separated the expressed genes into stably expressed genes and variably expressed genes. The results of the gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) analysis of stably expressed genes showed that the ribosomal and oxidative phosphorylation pathways were principal pathways. Secondly, four clusters of genes with significantly different expression patterns were observed in the 1,175 variably expressed genes. Thirdly, thirty-two neuropeptide genes, six neuropeptide-like precursor genes, and 117 cuticular protein genes were expressed in selected developmental stages.


Major characteristics of the transcriptional profiles in the brains of Bombyx mori at specific development stages were present in this study. Our data provided useful information for future research.