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Han Xu, Lei Chen, Xiao-Ling Tong, Hai Hu, Li-Yuan Liu, Gui-Chun Liu, Ya-Nan Zhu, Ruo-Ping Zhao, Wen Wang, Fang-Yin Dai, Xin Li, Hui Xiang. Comprehensive silk gland multi-omics comparison illuminates two alternative mechanisms in silkworm heterosis. Zoological Research, 2022, 43(4): 585-596. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2022.065
Citation: Han Xu, Lei Chen, Xiao-Ling Tong, Hai Hu, Li-Yuan Liu, Gui-Chun Liu, Ya-Nan Zhu, Ruo-Ping Zhao, Wen Wang, Fang-Yin Dai, Xin Li, Hui Xiang. Comprehensive silk gland multi-omics comparison illuminates two alternative mechanisms in silkworm heterosis. Zoological Research, 2022, 43(4): 585-596. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2022.065

Comprehensive silk gland multi-omics comparison illuminates two alternative mechanisms in silkworm heterosis

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2022.065
#Authors contributed equally to this work
Funds:  This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31371286, 32070411, 81872299, 31830094, U20A2058), Guangzhou Science Technology Project (201904010007), Shenzhen Science and Technology Program (JCYJ20190807160011600, JCYJ20210324124808023), and Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Insect Developmental Biology and Applied Technology (GDKCFY2101)
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  • Heterosis is a common phenomenon in plants and animals with diverse underlying mechanisms. Here, we applied two widely used silkworm hybrid systems and performed multi-omics analysis to identify possible intrinsic associations between different hybrid strategies and epigenetic mechanisms with silkworm heterosis. We found significant differences in the silk gland transcriptomic landscape between the two systems, including differentially expressed genes and expression patterns in the hybrid offspring compared to their parents. In the quaternary hybrid system, hybrid vigor was primarily due to up-regulated genes and the parent-dominant up-regulated expression pattern, involving multiple transport processes, cellular nitrogen compound catabolism, glucose metabolism, and tricarboxylic acid cycle. In the binary system, hybrid vigor was mainly due to the down-regulated genes and transgressively down-regulated expression pattern, mainly involving basic nitrogen synthesis metabolism and body function. We also demonstrated that DNA methylation may affect hybrid vigor by regulating the expression of several heterosis-related genes. Thus, this study revealed two alternative mechanisms that may contribute to silkworm heterosis, both of which facilitate the efficient utilization of energy and nitrogen for silk production.
  • #Authors contributed equally to this work
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