Sex-biased gene expression in antennae of Drosophila suzukii

Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2020 May;104(1):e21660. doi: 10.1002/arch.21660. Epub 2020 Jan 29.


Drosophila suzukii differs from other members of the genus Drosophila in its host preference and oviposition behavior. The flies are attracted to ripening fruits, and females have a serrated ovipositor enabling eggs to be laid inside the fruit. In addition to its huge economic impact, its unique chemoecological, morphological, and physiological characteristics have garnered considerable research interests. In this study, we analyzed D. suzukii antennal transcriptomes to identify sex-biased genes by comparison of differential gene expressions between male antennae (MA) and female antennae (FA). Among 13,583 total genes of the fly genome, 11,787 genes were expressed in either MA or FA. There are only 132 genes (9 in MA, 7 in FA, and 116 in both, FPKM >1) were expressed in antennae exclusively, and 2,570 genes (9 in MA, 0 in FA, and 2,561 in both) were enriched in antennae containing 185 and 113 sex-biased genes in MA and FA, respectively. Interestingly, many immune-related genes were highly expressed in MA, whereas several chemosensory genes were at high rank in FA. We identified 27 sex-biased chemosensory genes including odorant and gustatory receptors, odorant-binding proteins, chemosensory proteins, ionotropic receptors, and cytochrome P450s, and validated the gene expressions using quantitative real-time PCR. The highly expressed sex-biased genes in antennae are likely involved in the fly specific mating, host-finding behaviors, or sex-specific functions. The molecular results demonstrated here will facilitate to find the unique chemoreception of D. suzukii, as well as on the development of new management strategies for this pest.

Keywords: Drosophila suzukii; antennae; chemosensation; differential expression; spotted-wing drosophila; transcriptome.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthropod Antennae / metabolism*
  • Chemoreceptor Cells
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Male
  • Sex Factors*


  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System