Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) vicilins bind to the peritrophic membrane of larval sugarcane stalk borer (Diatraea saccharalis).J Insect Physiol. 2003 Sep; 49(9):873-80.JI
In this work, we show that vicilins from two Vigna unguiculata (cowpea) genotypes, Epace-10 and IT 81D-1045, which are susceptible and resistant to attack by the cowpea weevil Callosobruchus maculatus, respectively, associate with the peritrophic membrane (PM) from larvae of Diatraea saccharalis. Solutions with increasing concentrations of vicilins were incubated with PM of the larvae and subsequently analysed by electrophoresis with SDS. It was observed that the majority of the bands of approximately 50,000 Da (characteristic of vicilins) did not appear in the separating gel and only lower molecular weight polypeptides were seen. When vicilins were incubated with PM, and the solution was then heated after the incubation, the band pattern in the gel appeared completely different. It was observed that the vicilins were being hydrolysed by proteinases associated with the PM. When the incubated samples were heated after the reaction, the major bands reappeared, demonstrating that most of the vicilin molecules had bound to the PM of D. saccharalis. These results suggest that when the vicilins are in contact with the PM they are bound and also digested by the PM of this insect. The major and several minor proteinases from the PM were extracted with Triton X-100 and their activity and the inhibition of this activity were analysed by ingel assays. Based on the effects of proteinase inhibitors, the PM-associated activity is due to serine class proteinases. Larvae of D. saccharalis were fed on artificial diets containing purified vicilins from Epace-10 or IT 81D-1045 seeds. Vicilins from Epace-10 did not affect the larval development, while IT 81D-1045 vicilins reduced significantly the survival rate of the sugar cane borer.