Analysis of fat body transcriptome from the adult tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans morsitans


Serap Aksoy, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Section of Vector Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, 60 College St., 606 LEPH, New Haven, CT 06510, USA. Tel.: (203) 737 2180, fax: (203)785 4782; e-mail:


Tsetse flies (Diptera: Glossinidia) are vectors of pathogenic African trypanosomes. To develop a foundation for tsetse physiology, a normalized expressed sequence tag (EST) library was constructed from fat body tissue of immune-stimulated Glossina morsitans morsitans. Analysis of 20 257 high-quality ESTs yielded 6372 unique genes comprised of 3059 tentative consensus (TC) sequences and 3313 singletons (available at We analysed the putative fat body transcriptome based on homology to other gene products with known functions available in the public domain. In particular, we describe the immune-related products, reproductive function related yolk proteins and milk-gland protein, iron metabolism regulating ferritins and transferrin, and tsetse's major energy source proline biosynthesis. Expression analysis of the three yolk proteins indicates that all are detected in females, while only the yolk protein with similarity to lipases, is expressed in males. Milk gland protein, apparently important for larval nutrition, however, is primarily synthesized by accessory milk gland tissue.