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    Salivary gland-specific transcriptomes of nine heteropteran insects with distinct feeding strategies (predaceous, hematophagous, and phytophagous) were analyzed and annotated to compare and identify the venom components as well as their expression profiles. The transcriptional abundance of venom genes was verified via quantitative real-time PCR. Hierarchical clustering of 30 representative differentially expressed venom genes from the nine heteropteran species revealed unique groups of salivary gland-specific genes depending on their feeding strategy. The commonly transcribed genes included a paralytic neurotoxin (arginine kinase), digestive enzymes (cathepsin and serine protease), an anti-inflammatory protein (cystatin), hexamerin, and an odorant binding protein. Both predaceous and hematophagous (bed bug) heteropteran species showed relatively higher transcription levels of genes encoding proteins involved in proteolysis and cytolysis, whereas phytophagous heteropterans exhibited little or no expression of these genes, but had a high expression of vitellogenin, a multifunctional allergen. Saliva proteomes from four representative species were also analyzed. All venom proteins identified via saliva proteome analysis were annotated using salivary gland transcriptome data. The proteomic expression profiles of venom proteins were in good agreement with the salivary gland-specific transcriptomic profiles. Our results indicate that profiling of the salivary gland transcriptome provides important information on the composition and evolutionary features of venoms depending on their feeding strategy. © 2021 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


    Kyungjae Andrew Yoon, Woo-Jin Kim, Seungki Lee, Hee-Sun Yang, Byoung-Hee Lee, Si Hyeock Lee. Comparative analyses of the venom components in the salivary gland transcriptomes and saliva proteomes of some heteropteran insects. Insect science. 2022 Apr;29(2):411-429

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    PMID: 34296820

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