The surface of insects is coated in cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs); variations in the composition of this layer affect a range of traits including adaptation to arid environments and defence against pathogens and toxins. In the African malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae quantitative and qualitative variance in CHC composition have been associated with speciation, ecological habitat and insecticide resistance. Understanding how these modifications arise will inform us of how mosquitoes are responding to climate change and vector control interventions. CHCs are synthesised in sub-epidermal cells called oenocytes that are very difficult to isolate from surrounding tissues. Here we utilise a transgenic line with fluorescent oenocytes to purify these cells for the first time. Comparative transcriptomics revealed the enrichment of biological processes related to long chain fatty acyl-CoA biosynthesis and elongation of mono-, poly-unsaturated and saturated fatty acids and enabled us to delineate, and partially validate, the hydrocarbon biosynthetic pathway in An. gambiae.
Transcriptome sequencing has been deposited in the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA), under PRJEB37240 project.All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 1,2,3 and 5.
- Linda Grigoraki
- Linda Grigoraki
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Malcolm J McConville, The University of Melbourne, Australia
© 2020, Grigoraki et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.