Two types of lysozymes from the whiteflyBemisia tabaci: Molecular characterization and functional diversification
Lysozyme is well-known as an immune effector in the immune system. Here we identified three genes including one c-type lysozyme, Btlysc, and two i-type lysozymes, Btlysi1 and Btlysi2, from the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. All three lysozymes were constitutively expressed in different tissues and developmental stages, but the two types of lysozymes showed different expression patterns. The expression levels of Btlysi1 and Btlysi2 were dramatically induced after the whitefly fed with different host plants while the expression level of Btlysc kept unchanged. After fungal infection and begomovirus acquisition, Btlysc expression was significantly upregulated while Btlysi1 and Btlysi2 expression were basically not induced. Furthermore, we found that Btlysc showed muramidase and antibacterial activities. Altogether, our results suggest that the two types of lysozymes act in two different ways in B. tabaci, that is, Btlysc is involved in the whitefly immune system while Btlysi1 and Btlysi2 may play a role in digestion or nutrition absorption.