Proteo-Transcriptomic Characterization of Sirex nitobei (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) Venom

Gao, Chenglong, et al. “Proteo-Transcriptomic Characterization of Sirex Nitobei (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) Venom.” Toxins, no. 8, MDPI AG, Aug. 2021, p. 562. Crossref, doi:10.3390/toxins13080562.


The wood-boring woodwasp Sirex nitobei is a native pest in Asia, infecting and weakening the host trees in numerous ecological and commercial coniferous forest plantations. In China, hosts of S. nitobei are diverse, so the pest has spread to several provinces of China, resulting in considerable economic and ecological damage. During female oviposition, S. nitobei venom along with arthrospores of the symbiotic fungus Amylostereum areolatum or A. chaetica is injected into host trees, and the combination of these two biological factors causes the death of xylem host trees. The presence of venom alone causes only the yellowing and wilting of needles. In this study, we constructed the venom gland transcriptome of S. nitobei for the first time and a total of 15,036 unigenes were acquired. From the unigenes, 11,560 ORFs were identified and 537 encoding protein sequences with signal peptides at the N-terminus. Then, we used the venomics approach to characterize the venom composition of female S. nitobei and predicted 1095 proteins by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis. We focused on seven proteins that were both highly expressed in the venom gland transcriptome and predicted in the crude venom proteome. These seven proteins are laccase-2, laccase-3, a protein belonging to the Kazal family, chitooligosaccharidolytic β-N-acetylglucosaminidase, beta-galactosidase, icarapin-like protein, and waprin-Thr1-like protein. Using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), we also proved that the genes related to these seven proteins are specifically expressed in the venom glands. Finally, we revealed the functional role of S. nitobei venom in the physiological response of host trees. It can not only promote the colonization of symbiotic fungus but contribute to the development of eggs and larvae. This study provides a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanism of the woodwasp–pine interaction.