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Volume 2012, Article ID 470436, 16 pages
Review Article

An Insight into the Sialomes of Bloodsucking Heteroptera

Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

Received 27 January 2012; Accepted 17 April 2012

Academic Editor: Mark M. Feldlaufer

Copyright © 2012 José M. C. Ribeiro et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Saliva of bloodsucking arthropods contains dozens or hundreds of proteins that affect their hosts' mechanisms against blood loss (hemostasis) and inflammation. Because acquisition of the hematophagous habit evolved independently in several arthropod orders and at least twice within the true bugs, there is a convergent evolutionary scenario that creates a different salivary potion for each organism evolving independently to hematophagy. Additionally, the immune pressure posed by their hosts creates additional evolutionary pressure on the genes coding for salivary proteins, including gene obsolescence, which opens the niche for coopting new genes (exaptation). In the past 10 years, several salivary transcriptomes from bloodsucking Heteroptera and one from a seed-feeding Pentatomorpha were produced, allowing insight into the salivary potion of these organisms and the evolutionary pathway to the blood-feeding mode.