Transcriptome analysis in Ceratitis capitata to unveil genes involved in ageing-maturation process
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The sterile insect technique (SIT) is widely used in integrated programmes against the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Information on the age distribution of insects, and more particularly, the knowledge of wild female reproductive status (mature or not) at the time of the sterile male release is one of the key factors for the success of the SIT. In recent years, sequencing analysis has become an important tool in molecular biology. In this work we present a genome-wide expression analysis based on SSH (substractive sequence hybridization) and EST (expressed sequence tag) sequencing and macroarray expression analysis to identify signature genes related to the ageing-maturing process in C. capitata, leading to the successful identification of new putative candidate genes of reproductive status in medfly that would serve as molecular markers for ageing. We have sorted out 94 unigenes from 873 single-pass ESTs, of which 57% have homology with known genes. Ageing-maturing process in C. capitata presents a marked expression pattern accompanied by the increase of transcription level of genes involved in reproduction (vitellogenins, chorion proteins and male-specific serum proteins). Other identified cDNAs (43%) with a differential expression pattern would be also candidates but deserve further studies, as they belong to the unknown function class.