Eur. J. Entomol. 113: 135-142, 2016 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2016.017

Effects of ultraviolet-C and microwave irradiation on the expression of heat shock protein genes in the maize weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

Jatuporn TUNGJITWITAYAKUL1, Nujira TATUN1, Boongeua VAJARASATHIRA2, Sho SAKURAI3
1 School of Science, University of Phayao, Phayao 56000, Thailand; e-mails: jatuporn.tu@up.ac.th, nujira.ta@up.ac.th
2 Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand; e-mail: fscibov@ku.ac.th
3 Creative Science Museum, Komatsunomori, Komatsu 923-8610, Japan; e-mail: ssakurai@staff.kanazawa-u.ac.jp

The maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais (Motschulsky), is a major pest of stored grain kernels. Irradiation is an established technique for controlling insects in stored grain and is a major stress factor affecting these insects. Since heat shock protein (hsp) genes respond to this stress, we proposed that hsps may be associated with irradiated stress tolerance in S. zeamais. The responses of the maize weevil to exposure to ultraviolet-C (UV-C) and microwave irradiation were assessed at four developmental stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The results revealed that exposure to UV-C (254 nm, < 8 h) did not affect the survival of the maize weevils; however, Szhsp70, Szhsc70 and Szhsp90 mRNA levels significantly increased during the first 1 h of UV-C exposure. The median lethal time (LT50) of exposure to microwave irradiation indicated that the adult stage was more tolerant of microwave irradiation than the other developmental stages. Microwave irradiation enhanced the expression of the three hsps, but the intensity of up-regulation differed among the three genes, with Szhsp70 the most highly up-regulated. Our experiments revealed that UV-C and microwave irradiation influenced the expression profile of hsp genes in S. zeamais. At the tissue level, the gene responses to UV-C and microwave irradiation varied greatly in different tissues.

Keywords: Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Sitophilus zeamais, UV-C, microwave, heat shock proteins, Hsp70, Hsc70, Hsp90

Received: October 21, 2015; Accepted: December 3, 2015; Published online: January 28, 2016

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