Spatial metabolomics reveal the potential organ involved in lucibufagin toxins production in Pyrocoelia firefly
by Chengqi Zhu | Westlake University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.
Abstract ID: 140
Event: The 3rd AsiaEvo Conference
Topic: Genetics of adaptation and evolution of novel traits
Presenter Name: Chengqi Zhu

Lucibufagins (LBGs) are defensive cardiotonic steroid toxins produced by fireflies. These toxins specifically target the ubiquitous cell-membrane protein Na+,K+-ATPase and inhibit the ability for ion transport. However, little is known about how and where LBGs are biosynthesized in vivo. Our previous research has shown that LBGs are only found in the Lampyrinae subfamily. In this study, we firstly employed UPLC to detect the temporal content of LBGs across different life stage in the LBGs-containing firefly Pyrocoelia analis. Additionally, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI) was used to visualize the spatial distribution of LBGs in firefly tissue sections. Our preliminary experiments found enrichment of LBG toxins in the adult metathorax. Our study highlights the potential of mass spectrometry imaging for understanding toxin biosynthesis pathway in LBGs-containing fireflies.