Differential expression of Phlebotomus tobbi Adler, Theodor & Lourie, 1930 (Diptera: Psychodidae) genes under different environmental conditions

Oguz G., Bilgic H. A., KARAASLAN İ. Ç., MERGEN H., Kasap O. E., ALTEN S. B.

Acta Tropica, vol.239, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 239
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2022.106808
  • Journal Name: Acta Tropica
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, EMBASE, Geobase, MEDLINE, Metadex, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Phlebotomus tobbi, Gene expression, Temperature, Humidity, Cacophony, Salivary gland proteins
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 Elsevier B.V.Phlebotomus tobbi is a widely distributed sand fly species in Turkey and is the proven vector of Leishmania infantum and several Phleboviruses. Information regarding the genetic basis of phenotypic plasticity is crucial for managing vector-borne diseases, as the changing environmental conditions have consequences for the survival of arthropods and the disease agents they transmit. However, limited data is available on the impacts of environmental conditions on the traits associated with sand fly survival, reproduction, and vectorial competence. The present study aimed to reveal the changes in the expression levels of three selected P. tobbi genes using laboratory-reared and wild-caught populations. A nervous system protein, Cacophony (PtCac), related to the life history traits of sand flies, and two sand fly salivary protein genes, PtSP32 and PtSP38, influence the infection of the vertebrate hosts, were assessed. Sand flies were maintained at 23 °C and 27 °C in the laboratory to evaluate the relationship between temperature and the expressed phenotypes. Field collections were carried out in three climatically distinct regions of Turkey to establish the regional differences in the gene expression levels of natural P. tobbi populations. In the laboratory, PtCac expression increased with the temperature. However, PtCac expression was negatively correlated with local temperature and humidity conditions. No differences were detected in the PtSP32 gene expression levels of both laboratory-reared and wild-caught females, but a negative correlation was observed with relative humidity in natural populations. Although the expression levels of PtSP38 did not differ among the females collected from distinct regions, a positive correlation was detected in the laboratory-reared colony. The findings indicated that changes in environmental conditions could drive the expression levels of P. tobbi genes, which influence population dynamics and the transmission risk of the disease.