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Plant Science

Shaltiel-Harpaz, L. - Tel Hai College, Upper Galilee, 12210, Israel; Migal Galilee Research Institute, P.O. Box 831, Kiryat Shmona, 11016, Israel
Kedoshim, R. - Migal Galilee Research Institute, P.O. Box 831, Kiryat Shmona, 11016, Israel  
Bosamia, T.C. - ICAR-Directorate of Groundnut Research, P.O. Box 362001, Junagadh, Gujarat, India.

The black fig fly (Silba adipata) is one of the major pests of figs worldwide. This study investigated the effect of pollination on black fig fly infestation and volatile emission during fruit development of facultative parthenocarpic Ficus carica. The results from in-field oviposition preference of black fig fly, olfactory analysis, and fruit volatile profiles indicate that the black fig fly gave a strong preference to unpollinated figs that showed higher emissions of volatile organic compounds. Terpenes are known to be important compounds determining many insect-plant interactions, so we report a transcriptome-based identification and functional characterization of a terpene synthase (TPS) gene family in F. carica. The protein expression in Escherichia coli of eight terpene synthases (TPSs) revealed that three were monoterpene synthases belonging to the TPS-b clade, with FcTPS6 catalyzing the formation of 1,8-cineole while the other two converted GPP into linalool. Four sesquiterpene synthases from the TPS-a clade catalyze the formation of germacrene D (FcTPS1), E-β-caryophyllene (FcTPS2), cadinene (FcTPS3) and δ-elemene (FcTPS5) while one sesquiterpene synthase FcTPS4 from the TPS-b clade showed nerolidol synthase activity. Most of the enzymatic products closely matched the volatile terpenes emitted from fig fruits and all the genes were expressed during fruit development. This study provides new insights into fig-insect interactions and understanding the molecular mechanisms of terpene biosynthesis and could provide the foundations for sustainable pest management strategies.

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Characterization of terpene synthase genes potentially involved in black fig fly (Silba adipata) interactions with Ficus carica
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Shaltiel-Harpaz, L. - Tel Hai College, Upper Galilee, 12210, Israel; Migal Galilee Research Institute, P.O. Box 831, Kiryat Shmona, 11016, Israel
Kedoshim, R. - Migal Galilee Research Institute, P.O. Box 831, Kiryat Shmona, 11016, Israel  
Bosamia, T.C. - ICAR-Directorate of Groundnut Research, P.O. Box 362001, Junagadh, Gujarat, India.

Characterization of terpene synthase genes potentially involved in black fig fly (Silba adipata) interactions with Ficus carica

The black fig fly (Silba adipata) is one of the major pests of figs worldwide. This study investigated the effect of pollination on black fig fly infestation and volatile emission during fruit development of facultative parthenocarpic Ficus carica. The results from in-field oviposition preference of black fig fly, olfactory analysis, and fruit volatile profiles indicate that the black fig fly gave a strong preference to unpollinated figs that showed higher emissions of volatile organic compounds. Terpenes are known to be important compounds determining many insect-plant interactions, so we report a transcriptome-based identification and functional characterization of a terpene synthase (TPS) gene family in F. carica. The protein expression in Escherichia coli of eight terpene synthases (TPSs) revealed that three were monoterpene synthases belonging to the TPS-b clade, with FcTPS6 catalyzing the formation of 1,8-cineole while the other two converted GPP into linalool. Four sesquiterpene synthases from the TPS-a clade catalyze the formation of germacrene D (FcTPS1), E-β-caryophyllene (FcTPS2), cadinene (FcTPS3) and δ-elemene (FcTPS5) while one sesquiterpene synthase FcTPS4 from the TPS-b clade showed nerolidol synthase activity. Most of the enzymatic products closely matched the volatile terpenes emitted from fig fruits and all the genes were expressed during fruit development. This study provides new insights into fig-insect interactions and understanding the molecular mechanisms of terpene biosynthesis and could provide the foundations for sustainable pest management strategies.

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