Transcriptome of the Lymantria dispar (Gypsy Moth) Larval Midgut in Response to Infection by Bacillus thuringiensis


Transcriptomic profiles of the serious lepidopteran insect pest Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth) were characterized in the larval midgut in response to infection by Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, a biopesticide commonly used for its control. RNA-Seq approaches were used to define a set of 49,613 assembled transcript sequences, of which 838, 1,248 and 3,305 were respectively partitioned into high-, mid- and low-quality tiers on the basis of homology information. Digital gene expression profiles suggested genes differentially expressed at 24 hours post infection, and qRT-PCR analyses were performed for verification. The differentially expressed genes primarily associated with digestive function, including α-amylase, lipase and carboxypeptidase; immune response, including C-type lectin 4; developmental genes such as arylphorin; as well as a variety of binding proteins: cellular retinoic acid binding protein (lipid-binding), insulin-related peptide binding protein (protein-binding) and ovary C/EBPg transcription factor (nucleic acid-binding). This is the first study conducted to specifically investigate gypsy moth response to a bacterial infection challenge using large-scale sequencing technologies, and the results highlight important genes that could be involved in biopesticide resistance development or could serve as targets for biologically-based control mechanisms of this insect pest.


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