Stefan Dippel

Research interests:

The olfactory system of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum

The olfactory system of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum
The red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum (Herbst, Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae) is a secondary pest of stored, dried food products [1]. As a coleopteran model system, it represents the largest insect order, containing many different pests like bark beetles (Dendroctonus ponderosae, Ips typographus), colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), pollen beetle (Brassicogethes aeneus) and the Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera), which cause severe economic and ecological damage. Over the past years, T. castaneum turned into a remarkable model organism with plenty of genetic tools such as systemic RNA interference [2, 3], forward genetics based on insertional mutagenesis [4], transgene-based mis-expression systems [5, 6], as well as a fully annotated genome sequence [7, 8]. These tools predestine T. castaneum as a model system for coleopterans and to investigate findings from the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster for their generality in insects. Odor discrimination is a key process in insect life: from food and host finding to partner recognition, insects rely strongly on odor stimuli. Perception of odorants takes place in the chemosensory (olfactory or gustatory) sensilla and is supposed to be mediated by chemosensory proteins (CSPs) or odorant binding proteins (OBPs) [9?13], followed by detection via odorant receptors (ORs), ionotropic glutamate-like receptors (IRs), or gustatory receptors (GRs) [14].

Stefan Dippel Research To better understand the olfactory system of this a coleopteran pest species, we performed transcriptome analyses antennae, heads, mouthparts, legs, and bodies and analysed the expression of genes involved in odor reception. In addition we use competitive fluorescence binding assays in combination with RNAi based loss of function experiments to deorphanize OBPs.

Dreyer D, Vitt H, Dippel S, Goetz B, El Jundi B, et al. (2010) 3D Standard Brain of the Red Flour Beetle Tribolium Castaneum: A Tool to Study Metamorphic Development and Adult Plasticity. Front Syst Neurosci 4: 3. doi:10.3389/neuro.06.003.2010.

Paczkowski S, Paczkowska M, Dippel S, Schulze N, Schütz S, et al. (2013) The olfaction of a fire beetle leads to new concepts for early fire warning systems. Sens Actuators B Chem 183: 273?282. doi:10.1016/j.snb.2013.03.123.

Paczkowski S, Paczkowska M, Dippel S, Flematti G, Schütz S (2014) Volatile Combustion Products of Wood Attract Acanthocnemus nigricans (Coleoptera: Acanthocnemidae). J Insect Behav 27: 228?238. doi:10.1007/s10905-013-9430-4.

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3. Tomoyasu Y, Denell RE: Larval RNAi in Tribolium (Coleoptera) for analyzing adult development. Dev Genes Evol 2004, 214:575?578.
4. Trauner J, Schinko J, Lorenzen MD, Shippy TD, Wimmer EA, Beeman RW, Klingler M, Bucher G, Brown SJ: Large-scale insertional mutagenesis of a coleopteran stored grain pest, the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum, identifies embryonic lethal mutations and enhancer traps. BMC Biol 2009, 7:73.
5. Schinko JB, Weber M, Viktorinova I, Kiupakis A, Averof M, Klingler M, Wimmer EA, Bucher G: Functionality of the GAL4/UAS system in Tribolium requires the use of endogenous core promoters. BMC Dev Biol 2010, 10:53.
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