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Mutation of a palmitoyltransferase ZDHHC18-like gene is responsible for the minute wing mutation in the silkworm (Bombyx mori)

By Ye Yu, Xiaojing Liu, Xiao Ma, Zhongjie Zhang, Na Liu, Chengxiang Hou, Muwang Li

Posted 19 Jan 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/101618

Pulpal- and adult-stage minute wing (mw) mutants of the silkworm Bombyx mori have much smaller wings than those of the wild type. Herein, we report the genetic and molecular mechanisms underling the formation of the minute wing. Fine mapping and positional cloning revealed that a palmitoyltransferase ZDHHC18-like gene (BmAPP)was responsible for the mw mutation. CRISPR/Cas9 screening of the BmAPP gene in wild-type embryos revealed that a significant proportion of adults had the mw mutation. In an mw mutant strain, u11, a 10-bp insertion in the promoter of a novel gene resulted in low-level translation of a protein belonging to the DHHC family. A PiggyBac-based transgenic analysis showed that the promoter induced the expression of aBmAPP gene promoter in the wild type but not the mw mutant. These findings indicate that functional deletion of this gene promoter accounts for the mw mutation in silkworm. The possibility that BmAPP gene is involved in Hippo signaling pathway, an evolutionarily conserved signaling pathway that controls organ size, is discussed.

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