Identification of immunological expressed sequence tags in the mealworm beetle Tenebrio molitor

Adam J Dobson, Paul R Johnston, Andreas Vilcinskas, Jens Rolff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the evolutionary ecology of immune responses to persistent infection could provide fundamental insight into temporal dynamics or interactive mechanisms that could be co-opted for antibiotic treatment regimes. Additionally, identification of novel molecules involved in these processes could provide novel compounds for biotechnological development. The beetle Tenebrio molitor displays a high level of induced antimicrobial activity coincident with persistent immuno-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and is the first invertebrate model for persistent infection. Here we present expressed sequence tags (ESTs) detected by suppression-subtraction hybridization of Tenebrio larvae after infection with S. aureus. Amongst others, we identified mRNAs coding for various oxidative enzymes and two antimicrobial peptides. These ESTs provide a foundation for mechanistic study of Tenebrio's immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1556-61
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/metabolism
  • Coleoptera/genetics
  • Expressed Sequence Tags
  • Gene Library
  • Genes, Insect
  • Iron/metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Staphylococcus aureus


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