About this Research Topic
Entomology today is a fast growing field of biological sciences, having deviated considerably from the morphological-taxonomical approaches of the first half of the century, embracing an interdisciplinary approach involving as many aspects as molecular biology, biotechnology, protein chemistry, genetic analysis and biological diversity. Recent advances in molecular biology, integrated with genetics, biochemistry and a variety of technical advances made in the areas of DNA sequencing and physiochemical characterization have helped scientists to make tremendous progress in this important discipline. All these contribute to add new dimensions in molecular approaches such as comparative genomics and proteomics, which are adding a wealth of information on the molecular biology, physiology and biochemistry of a plethora of insects.
Insects form the largest group of animals on earth with a very long evolutionary history. Their sophisticated biochemical and molecular machinery, together with its plasticity and adaptability, has contributed to their great success as terrestrial animals and has allowed insects to populate every conceivable niche. They have for example developed unique defense proteins, novel strategies to circumvent infections and a formidable hard exoskeleton to face biotic and abiotic stress. In spite of the rapid advances made in the areas of genetics and molecular biology of insects, insect proteins and enzymes have been under-explored and their biotechnology potentials have been under-utilized. Study of insect proteins and enzymes will not only give valuable information on their unique biochemistry and physiology but will also identify novel tools for the development of new technologies and new ways to produce novel insect control measures. The aim of the Research Topic “New dimensions in molecular approaches to insect proteins and enzymes” is to highlight recent advances made to integrate molecular biology and “omics” tools with fundamental biological disciplines to address some long-standing biological questions with practical implications. This Research Topic will compile a series of articles that will address the physiological and biochemical functions of proteins and enzymes in the insects’ life processes. The different chapters address spatial and temporal aspects of gene expression, characterization of novel enzymes, qualitative and quantitative characterization of proteins (2D PAGE, MS, MALDI-TOF, PMF) and their interactions on a genome scale, intracellular localizations and dynamics of proteins in living cells. This volume aims at providing a collection of recent advances on vital proteins and enzymes for insect physiology. We welcome both full and short original research and review articles addressing these fascinating multi-disciplinary approaches.
This Research Topic will form an invaluable source of information not only for entomologists but also for all scientists working in the area of molecular biology, insect biochemistry, immunology, pest management, and enzymology.
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