Transcriptomic response of cowpea bruchids to N-acetylglucosamine-specific lectins

Li Hua Wang, Yong Hun Chi, Feng Guang Guo, Hongmei Li-Byarlay, Susan Balfe, Ji Chao Fang, Barry R. Pittendrigh, Keyan Zhu-Salzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Griffonia simplicifolia lectin II (GSII) and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) are N-acetylglucosamine-binding lectins. Previous studies demonstrated that they have anti-insect activity, a property potentially useful in pest control. To gain some insight into the insect response to dietary lectins, we performed transcriptomic analysis using the cowpea bruchid (Callosobruchus maculatus) midgut microarray platform we built. Compared to the nonnutritional cellulose treatment, dietary lectins induced more profound changes in gene expression. Ingestion of relatively high doses of lectins for 24 h resulted in alteration of gene expression involved in sugar and lipid metabolism, transport, development, defense, and stress tolerance. Metabolic genes were largely downregulated. Moreover, we observed disorganized microvilli resulting from ingestion of WGA. This morphological change is consistent with the lectin-induced changes in genes related to midgut epithelial cell repair. In addition, suboptimal nutrient conditions may serve as a stress signal to trigger senescence processes, leading to growth arrest and developmental delay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-94
Number of pages12
JournalInsect Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Carbohydrate-binding
  • Lectin
  • Midgut epithelium
  • Senescence
  • Transcriptomic response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Transcriptomic response of cowpea bruchids to N-acetylglucosamine-specific lectins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this