Host plant adaptation in the polyphagous whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum, is associated with transcriptional plasticity and altered sensitivity to insecticides

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Pym, A., Singh, K. S., Nordgren, A., Davies, T. G. E., Zimmer, C. T., Elias, J., Slater, R. and Bass, C. G. 2019. Host plant adaptation in the polyphagous whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum, is associated with transcriptional plasticity and altered sensitivity to insecticides. BMC Genomics. 20 (996).

AuthorsPym, A., Singh, K. S., Nordgren, A., Davies, T. G. E., Zimmer, C. T., Elias, J., Slater, R. and Bass, C. G.
Abstract

Background: The glasshouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum, is a damaging crop pest and an invasive generalist capable of feeding on a broad range of host plants. As such this species has evolved mechanisms to circumvent the wide spectrum of anti-herbivore allelochemicals produced by its host range. T. vaporariorum has also demonstrated a remarkable ability to evolve resistance to many of the synthetic insecticides used for control.

Results: To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms that underpin the polyphagy of T. vaporariorum and its resistance to natural and synthetic xenobiotics, we sequenced and assembled a reference genome for this species. Curation of genes putatively involved in the detoxification of natural and synthetic xenobiotics revealed a marked reduction in specific gene families between this species and another generalist whitefly, Bemisia tabaci. Transcriptome profiling of T. vaporariorum upon transfer to a range of different host plants revealed profound differences in the transcriptional response to more or less challenging hosts. Large scale changes in gene expression (> 20% of genes) were observed during adaptation to challenging hosts with a range of genes involved in gene regulation, signalling, and detoxification differentially expressed.Remarkably, these changes in gene expression were associated with significant shifts in the tolerance of host-adapted T. vaporariorum lines to natural and synthetic insecticides.

Conclusions: Our findings provide further insights into the ability of polyphagous insects to extensively reprogram gene expression during host adaptation and illustrate the potential implications of this on their sensitivity to synthetic insecticides.

KeywordsPolyphagy; Resistance; Whitefly; Xenobiotic; Insecticide
Year of Publication2019
JournalBMC Genomics
Journal citation20 (996)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1186/s12864-019-6397-3
PubMed ID31856729
PubMed Central ID PMC6923851
Web address (URL)https://bmcgenomics.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12864-019-6397-3
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Syngenta UK
European Research Council
Funder project or codeThe biological and molecular factors influencing the control of two whitefly species Bemisia tabaci and Trialeurodes vaporium on different host plants
BBSRC Strategic Programme in Smart Crop Protection
Publisher's version
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright license
CC BY 4.0
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online19 Dec 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted15 Dec 2019
PublisherBiomed Central Ltd
ISSN1471-2164

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