Diapause-Specific Gene Expression in Pupae of the Flesh Fly Sarcophaga Crassipalpis

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Several cDNAs isolated from brains of diapausing pupae of the flesh fly, Sarcophaga crassipalpis, show expression patterns unique to diapause. To isolate such cDNAs a diapause pupal brain cDNA library was screened by using an elimination hybridization technique, and cDNAs that did not hybridize with cDNA probes constructed from the RNA of nondiapausing pupae were selected for further screening. The 95 clones that did not hybridize in the initial library screen were selected for further characterization. These clones were then screened against diapause and nondiapause pupal poly(A)+ Northern blots. The secondary screen identified 4 diapause-up-regulated clones, 7 diapause-down-regulated clones, 8 clones expressed equally in both diapause and nondiapause, and 75 clones without detectable expression. The diapause- up-regulated and down-regulated clones were further characterized by partial DNA sequencing and identity searches by using GenBank. Identities between our cloned cDNAs and other genes included those linked to cell cycle progression, stress responses, and DNA repair processes. The results suggest that insect diapause is not merely a shutdown of gene expression but is a unique, developmental pathway characterized by the expression of a novel set of genes.