Submitted to: Entomology Society America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 23, 2005
Publication Date: November 6, 2005
Citation: Sinisterra, X.H., Hunter, W.B., Katsar, C.S., Backus, E.A. 2005. Salivary gland gene expression in Glassy-winged sharpshooters [abstract]. Entomology Society America Annual Meeting. Paper No. 23209. December 15-18. Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Technical Abstract: Leafhoppers feed in a highly specific manner, inserting their long slender mouthparts into plant tissues to feed. During this feeding leafhoppers glassy-winged sharpshooter, GWSS, transmit a plant bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa, which causes Pierce's Disease of grapes. The severe impact of Pierce's Disease upon the U.S. grape industry seriously limits grape production within the United States. Molecular methods now permit researchers to identify the genes and proteins which have important functions in leafhopper feeding. To increase our understanding of the genes and proteins having a role in GWSS feeding we produced a cDNA library from GWSS salivary glands. From the 5,000 EST's produced we were able to produce a unigene set of about 2,000 genes, many of which were related to insect feeding. In silico comparison of the GWSS gene set to those within the public database at the National Center of Biotechnology and Information, NCBI, enabled us to identify secreted proteins, proteases and other genes which were associated with leafhopper feeding and digestion. We then made genetic primers to these genes so that we can monitor the up and down regulation of these genes within the GWSS during feeding on different host plants. Through the identification of important genes linked to feeding and digestion in GWSS salivary glands researchers will be able to develop more specific management methods which target leafhopper feeding. Ultimately we will use this knowledge to develop environmentally friendly management programs to reduce the spread of Pierce's Disease through the disruption of GWSS feeding and reduction of pathogen transmission.