Evaluation of potential reference genes for real-time qPCR analysis in a biparental beetle, Lethrus apterus (Coleoptera: Geotrupidae)

Nikoletta A. Nagy, Zoltán Németh, Edit Juhász, Szilárd Póliska, Rita Rácz, A. Kosztolányi, Z. Barta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Hormones play an important role in the regulation of physiological, developmental and behavioural processes. Many of these mechanisms in insects, however, are still not well understood. One way to investigate hormonal regulation is to analyse gene expression patterns of hormones and their receptors by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). This method, however, requires stably expressed reference genes for normalisation. In the present study, we evaluated 11 candidate housekeeping genes as reference genes in samples of Lethrus apterus, an earth-boring beetle with biparental care, collected from a natural population. For identifying the most stable genes we used the following computational methods: geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, comparative delta Ct method and RefFinder. Based on our results, the two body regions sampled (head and thorax) differ in which genes are most stably expressed. We identified two candidate reference genes for each region investigated: ribosomal protein L7A and RP18 in samples extracted from the head, and ribosomal protein L7A and RP4 extracted from the muscles of the thorax. Additionally, L7A and RP18 appear to be the best reference genes for normalisation in all samples irrespective of body region. These reference genes can be used to study the hormonal regulation of reproduction and parental care in Lethrus apterus in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4047
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Housekeeping gene
  • Insect
  • Parental care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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