Two Lys-vasopressin-like peptides, EFLamide, and other phasmid neuropeptides.

Jan A. Veenstra
General and Comparative Endocrinology. 2019-07-01; 278: 3-11
DOI: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2018.04.027

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Veenstra JA(1).

Author information:
(1)INCIA, UMR 5287 CNRS, Université de Bordeaux, allée Geoffroy St Hillaire, CS
50023, 33 615 Pessac Cedex, France. Electronic address:

Phasmid neuropeptide genes were identified in the genomes of two phasmids, Timema
cristinae and Clitarchus hookeri. The two species belong to two sisters groups,
the Timematodea and Euphasmatodea respectively. Neuropeptide genes were
identified using the BLAST+ program on the genome assemblies and the absence of
some neuropeptides was confirmed by the concomitant absence of their G-protein
coupled receptors. Both genomes were assembled using short reads and the average
coverage of the genome is more than 166 times for both species. This makes it
virtually impossible that there would not be a single short read for at least one
of the conserved transmembrane regions of a GPCR coded by such a genome. Hence,
when not a single read can be found for a specific GPCR, it can be concluded that
the particular gene is absent from that species. Most previously identified
insect neuropeptides are used by these two species. Of the three arthropod
allatostatin C related peptides, only allatostatins CC and CCC are present. Both
species lack leucokinin, while sulfakinin and dilp8 signaling is absent from
Clitarchus, but present in Timema. Interestingly, whereas Timema has lost a
vasopressin-related peptide, the gene coding such a peptide is amplified in the
Clitarchus genome. Furthermore, while Clitarchus has a specific tryptopyrokinin
gene, Timema does not and in this species tryptopyrokinin is coded only by the
pyrokinin and periviscerokinin genes. Finally, both species have genes coding
EFLamide and its GPCR; in phasmids these genes codes for one (Clitarchus) or two
(Timema) EFLamide paracopies.

Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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