Organization and expression of the Australian sheep blowfly (Lucilia cuprina) hsp23, hsp24, hsp70 and hsp83 genes


Maxwell J. Scott, Department of Genetics, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7614, Raleigh NC 27695-7614, USA. Tel.: 919-515-0275; fax 919-515-3355; e-mail:


In this study we report the isolation and characterization of a heat shock protein 70 (hsp70) gene, the hsp83 gene and two genes that encode small Hsps (Lchsp23 and Lchsp24) from the Australian sheep blowfly, Lucilia cuprina, a major agricultural pest. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the LcHsp23 protein is the orthologue of Drosophila melanogaster Hsp23 and LcHsp24 is the orthologue of Sarcophaga crassipalpis Hsp23. Quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR analysis showed that the basal level of Lchsp83 RNA is relatively high at all developmental stages and only moderately induced by heat shock. In contrast, Lchsp70 transcripts are present at low levels and strongly induced by heat shock at all stages. The basal levels of expression and degrees of heat induction of the Lchsp23 and Lchsp24 transcripts were more variable across the different developmental stages. Putative heat shock factor binding sites were identified in the Lchsp24, Lchsp70 and Lchsp83 gene promoters. The isolation of these hsp gene promoters will facilitate constitutive or conditional expression of a gene of interest in transgenic Lucilia.