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Evolutionary plasticity of insect immunity.
J Insect Physiol 2013; 59(2):123-9JI

Abstract

Many insect genomes have been sequenced and the innate immune responses of several species have been studied by transcriptomics, inviting the comparative analysis of immunity-related genes. Such studies have demonstrated significant evolutionary plasticity, with the emergence of novel proteins and protein domains correlated with insects adapting to both abiotic and biotic environmental stresses. This review article focuses on effector molecules such as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and proteinase inhibitors, which display greater evolutionary dynamism than conserved components such as immunity-related signaling molecules. There is increasing evidence to support an extended role for insect AMPs beyond defense against pathogens, including the management of beneficial endosymbionts. The total number of AMPs varies among insects with completed genome sequences, providing intriguing examples of immunity gene expansion and loss. This plasticity is discussed in the context of recent developments in evolutionary ecology suggesting that the maintenance and deployment of immune responses reallocates resources from other fitness-related traits thus requiring fitness trade-offs. Based on our recent studies using both model and non-model insects, I propose that insect immunity genes can be lost when alternative defense strategies with a lower fitness penalty have evolved, such as the so-called social immunity in bees, the chemical sanitation of the microenvironment by some beetles, and the release of antimicrobial secondary metabolites in the hemolymph. Conversely, recent studies provide evidence for the expansion and functional diversification of insect AMPs and proteinase inhibitors to reflect coevolution with a changing pathosphere and/or adaptations to habitats or food associated with microbial contamination.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Institute of Phytopathology and Applied Zoology, Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26-32, 35392 Giessen, Germany. Andreas.Vilcinskas@agrar.uni-giessen.de

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22985862

Citation

Vilcinskas, Andreas. "Evolutionary Plasticity of Insect Immunity." Journal of Insect Physiology, vol. 59, no. 2, 2013, pp. 123-9.
Vilcinskas A. Evolutionary plasticity of insect immunity. J Insect Physiol. 2013;59(2):123-9.
Vilcinskas, A. (2013). Evolutionary plasticity of insect immunity. Journal of Insect Physiology, 59(2), pp. 123-9. doi:10.1016/j.jinsphys.2012.08.018.
Vilcinskas A. Evolutionary Plasticity of Insect Immunity. J Insect Physiol. 2013;59(2):123-9. PubMed PMID: 22985862.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Evolutionary plasticity of insect immunity. A1 - Vilcinskas,Andreas, Y1 - 2012/09/15/ PY - 2012/04/10/received PY - 2012/08/08/revised PY - 2012/08/13/accepted PY - 2012/9/19/entrez PY - 2012/9/19/pubmed PY - 2013/9/21/medline SP - 123 EP - 9 JF - Journal of insect physiology JO - J. Insect Physiol. VL - 59 IS - 2 N2 - Many insect genomes have been sequenced and the innate immune responses of several species have been studied by transcriptomics, inviting the comparative analysis of immunity-related genes. Such studies have demonstrated significant evolutionary plasticity, with the emergence of novel proteins and protein domains correlated with insects adapting to both abiotic and biotic environmental stresses. This review article focuses on effector molecules such as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and proteinase inhibitors, which display greater evolutionary dynamism than conserved components such as immunity-related signaling molecules. There is increasing evidence to support an extended role for insect AMPs beyond defense against pathogens, including the management of beneficial endosymbionts. The total number of AMPs varies among insects with completed genome sequences, providing intriguing examples of immunity gene expansion and loss. This plasticity is discussed in the context of recent developments in evolutionary ecology suggesting that the maintenance and deployment of immune responses reallocates resources from other fitness-related traits thus requiring fitness trade-offs. Based on our recent studies using both model and non-model insects, I propose that insect immunity genes can be lost when alternative defense strategies with a lower fitness penalty have evolved, such as the so-called social immunity in bees, the chemical sanitation of the microenvironment by some beetles, and the release of antimicrobial secondary metabolites in the hemolymph. Conversely, recent studies provide evidence for the expansion and functional diversification of insect AMPs and proteinase inhibitors to reflect coevolution with a changing pathosphere and/or adaptations to habitats or food associated with microbial contamination. SN - 1879-1611 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22985862/Evolutionary_plasticity_of_insect_immunity_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0022-1910(12)00227-2 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -