Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Ahn, Seung-Joon

Committee Member

Rai, Aswathy

Committee Member

Krishnan, Natraj

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Agriculture and Life Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology


Uridine diphosphate glycosyltransferase (UGT) is a multigene family of enzymes responsible for catalyzing glycosylation of small hydrophobic molecules. Recently, a genomic analysis of the corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea) identified 45 different UGT genes. We discovered a UGT gene (UGT34) showing high levels of expression exclusively in the silk gland tissue. The expression levels of UGT34 were analyzed in different developmental stages and silk gland sub-segments, revealing that UGT34 is generally expressed at all larval instar stages and largely expressed in the middle and posterior subsegments of the silk glands. The soybean looper (Chrysodeixis includens), another noctuid moth species, was analyzed and found to have similar gene expression patterns. To determine UGT34 function RNA interference (RNAi) was used, but it revealed to be unsuccessful. Taken together, the present study implies that UGT34 plays an important role in silk glands, yet its molecular and physiological function needs to be determined by further study.