Utilization of the Bombyx mori heat shock protein 70 promoter for screening transgenic silkworms



Tae-Won Goo, Department of Agricultural Biology, National Academy of Agricultural Science, RDA, Suwon 441-100, Korea. Email: gootw@korea.kr


Silkworm transgenesis is now a routine method leading to a satisfactory yield of transformed animals and the reliable expression of transgenes during multiple successive generations. However, the screening of G1 transgenic individuals from numerous progeny has proved to be difficult and time-consuming work. Previously, we characterized the promoter of heat shock protein 70 from Bombyx mori (bHsp70), which is ubiquitously expressed in all tissues and developmental stages. To investigate the utilization of the bHsp70 promoter to screen transgenic individuals, the EGFP marker gene was inserted into the piggyBac vector under the control of the bHsp70 promoter. Mixtures of the donor and helper vectors were micro-injected into 3060 eggs of bivoltine silkworms (Keomokjam). EGFP fluorescence was observed in 17 broods of transgenic silkworms under a florescence stereomicroscope. Interestingly, this fluorescent marker protein was detected, not only in parts of the embryo segments on the seventh day of the G1 embryonic developmental stage, but also in a part of the body of G1 hatched larvae, in the middle silk gland of G1 fifth instar larvae, and in the wings of seven-day-old G1 pupae and G1 moths. Therefore, we suggest that the bHsp70 promoter can be used for the rapid and simple screening of transgenic silkworms.