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Reference Genes for Expression Analyses by qRT-PCR in Enterobacter cancerogenus .

Microorganisms 2024 May 20
The Enterobacter cancerogenus strain EcHa1 was isolated from the dead larvae of Helicoverpa armigera , and has the potential for biocontrol of some Lepidoptera insects. In order to screen insecticidal-related genes by qRT-PCR, stable endogenous reference genes used for normalizing qRT-PCR data were selected and evaluated from 13 housekeeping genes (HKGs). The expression levels of the HKGs were determined using qRT-PCR under different experimental conditions, including two culture temperatures and three bacterial OD values. Five stability analysis methods (Ct , BestKeeper, NormFinder, geNorm, and RefFinder) were used to comprehensively rank the candidate genes. The results showed that the optimal reference genes varied under different experimental conditions. The combination of gyrA and gyrB was recommended as the best reference gene combination at 28 °C, while gyrA and rpoB was the best combination at 37 °C. When the OD values were 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0, the recommended reference gene combinations were ftsZ and gyrA , rpoB and gyrB , and gyrA and pyk , respectively. The most suitable reference genes were gyrA and gyrB under all experimental conditions. Using gyrA and gyrB as the reference genes for qRT-PCR, EcHa1 was found to invade all tissues of the H. armigera larvae, and expressed a candidate pathogenic factor Hcp at high levels in gut, Malpighian tubules, and epidermis tissues. This study not only establishes an accurate and reliable normalization for qRT-PCR in entomopathogenic bacteria but also lays a solid foundation for further study of functional genes in E. cancerogenus .

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