RNA-Seq Used to Identify Ipsdienone Reductase (IDONER): A Novel Monoterpene Carbon-Carbon Double Bond Reductase Central to Ips Confusus Pheromone Production

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Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology



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© 2021 Elsevier Ltd The pinyon ips beetle, Ips confusus (LeConte) is a highly destructive pest in pine forests in western North America. When colonizing a new host tree, I. confusus beetles coordinate a mass attack to overcome the tree's defenses using aggregation pheromones. Ips confusus, as with other Ips spp. beetles, biosynthesize ipsdienol and ipsenol in a specific enantiomeric blend and ratio as aggregation pheromones. While several of the initial steps in the pheromone biosynthetic pathway have been well defined, the final steps were unknown. We used comparative RNA-Seq analysis between fed and unfed male I. confusus midgut tissue to identify candidate genes involved in pheromone biosynthesis. The 12,995 potentially unique transcripts showed a clear separation based on feeding state. Differential expression analysis identified gene groups that were tightly connected. This analysis identified all known pheromone biosynthetic genes and suggested a novel monoterpene double bond reductase, ipsdienone reductase (IDONER), with pheromone biosynthetic gene expression patterns. IDONER cDNA was cloned, expressed, and functionally characterized. The coding DNA sequence has an ORF of 1101 nt with a predicted translation product of 336 amino acids. The enzyme has a molecular weight of 36.7 kDa with conserved motifs of the medium chain dehydrogenases/reductase (MDR) superfamily in the leukotriene B4 dehydrogenases/reductases (LTB4R) family. Tagged recombinant protein was expressed and purified. Enzyme assays and GC/MS analysis showed IDONER catalyzed the reduction of ipsdienone to form ipsenone. This study shows that IDONER is a monoterpene double bond reductase involved in I. confusus pheromone biosynthesis.


Bark beetle; Ips confusus; Ipsdienone; Ipsenone; Monoterpene carbon-carbon double bond reductase; Pheromone; Pinyon ips; Prostaglandin reductase; RNA-Seq


Biochemistry | Molecular Biology



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