GLASSY-WINGED SHARPSHOOTER AND PIERCE'S DISEASE
Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research
Title: Metagenomics of Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae)
Submitted to: Society for Invertebrate Pathology Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 3, 2008
Publication Date: August 5, 2008
Citation: Hunter, W.B., Dowd, S.E., Shelby, K., Katsar, C.S., Dang, P.M. 2008. Metagenomics of Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae)[abstract]. The 41st Annual Meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology. p. 101.
A Metagenomics approach was used to identify unknown organisms which live in association with the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Metagenomics combines molecular biology and genetics to identify, and characterize genetic material from unique biological samples, these may be environmental, or biological as in animals or plants. The information is then used towards solving a problem. The genetic diversity is assessed by isolation of genetic material (DNA and/or RNA) followed by direct cloning of genes. Three newly discovered single-stranded RNA viruses, along with three bacteria, and one potential fungi were identified. The viruses are undergoing full genome sequencing and provide new toxonomic information to classify these viruses. These viruses may also provide biological control agents for future use against leafhopper pests, or provide gene expression systems for future studies in leafhoppers. The number of sequences returning a top homology match to other species provided matches to Drosophila melanogaster, (approximately 12,500) followed by Aedes aegypti, (approximately 9,600), Tribolium casteum, (approximately 9,000) Anopheles gambiae, (approximately 8,500), Nasonia vitripennis, (approximately 8,000), Apis mellifera, (6,000) and then Homo sapiens (approximately 4,500). Metagenomics is a new and exciting field of molecular biology that is growing into the standard technique for understanding biological diversity.