De novo transcriptome analysis for examination of the nutrition metabolic system related to the evolutionary process through which stick insects gain the ability of flight (Phasmatodea)
journal contributionposted on 01.06.2021, 05:51 by T Sakamoto, S Sasaki, N Yamaguchi, M Nakano, H Sato, K Iwabuchi, H Tabunoki, Richard Simpson, H Bono
Objective: Insects are the most evolutionarily successful groups of organisms, and this success is largely due to their flight ability. Interestingly, some stick insects have lost their flight ability despite having wings. To elucidate the shift from wingless to flying forms during insect evolution, we compared the nutritional metabolism system among flight-winged, flightless-winged, and flightless-wingless stick insect groups. Results: Here, we report RNA sequencing of midgut transcriptome of Entoria okinawaensis, a prominent Japanese flightless-wingless stick insect, and the comparative analysis of its transcriptome in publicly available midgut transcriptomes obtained from seven stick insect species. A gene enrichment analysis for differentially expressed genes, including those obtained from winged vs wingless and flight vs flightless genes comparisons, revealed that carbohydrate metabolic process-related genes were highly expressed in the winged stick insect group. We also found that the expression of the mitochondrial enolase superfamily member 1 transcript was significantly higher in the winged stick insect group than in the wingless stick insect group. Our findings could indicate that carbohydrate metabolic processes are related to the evolutionary process through which stick insects gain the ability of flight.