Functional Characterization of the Nuclear Receptor Gene SaE75 in the Grain Aphid, Sitobion avenae

Haixia Zheng, Yi Yan, Guohua Wei, Austin Merchant, Yaxin Gu, Xuguo Zhou, Xun Zhu, Yunhui Zhang, Xiangrui Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ecdysteroid hormones are key regulators of insect development and metamorphosis. Ecdysone-inducible E75, a major component of insect ecdysone signaling pathway, has been well characterized in holometabolous insects, however, barely in hemimetabolous species. In this study, a total of four full-length E75 cDNAs from the English grain aphid, Sitobion avenae, were identified, cloned, and characterized. The four SaE75 cDNAs contained 3048, 2625, 2505, and 2179 bp open reading frames (ORF), encoding 1015, 874, 856, and 835 amino acids, respectively. Temporal expression profiles showed that SaE75 expression was low in adult stages, while high in pseudo embryo and nymphal stages. SaE75 was differentially expressed between winged and wingless morphs. RNAi-mediated suppression of SaE75 led to substantial biological impacts, including mortality and molting defects. As for the pleiotropic effects on downstream ecdysone pathway genes, SaHr3 (hormone receptor like in 46) was significantly up-regulated, while Sabr-c (broad-complex core protein gene) and Saftz-f1 (transcription factor 1) were significantly down-regulated. These combined results not only shed light on the regulatory role of E75 in the ecdysone signaling pathway, but also provide a potential novel target for the long-term sustainable management of S. avenae, a devastating global grain pest.

Original languageEnglish
Article number383
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Award number: 31772163), China Agriculture Research System of MOF and MARA (Award number: CARS-03), Key Project for University Excellent Young Talents of Henan Province (No. 2020GGJS260). The information reported in this paper is part of a project of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with the approval of the Director. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • 20E
  • SaE75
  • Sitobion avenae
  • ecdysone signaling pathway
  • molting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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