Odorant binding proteins of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta: An example of the problems facing the analysis of widely divergent proteins

Dietrich Gotzek, Hugh M. Robertson, Yannick Wurm, De Wayne Shoemaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We describe the odorant binding proteins (OBPs) of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, obtained from analyses of an EST library and separate 454 sequencing runs of two normalized cDNA libraries. We identified a total of 18 putative functional OBPs in this ant. A third of the fire ant OBPs are orthologs to honey bee OBPs. Another third of the OBPs belong to a lineage-specific expansion, which is a common feature of insect OBP evolution. Like other OBPs, the different fire ant OBPs share little sequence similarity (~20%), rendering evolutionary analyses difficult. We discuss the resulting problems with sequence alignment, phylogenetic analysis, and tests of selection. As previously suggested, our results underscore the importance for careful exploration of the sensitivity to the effects of alignment methods for data comprising widely divergent sequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere16289
JournalPloS one
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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