Location: Biological Control of Insects Research
Title: “Heliobase” - Jumpstarting Heliothine Genomics Author
Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting North Central Branch
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 17, 2009
Publication Date: March 17, 2009
Citation: Shelby, K. 2009. “Heliobase” - Jumpstarting Heliothine Genomics [abstract]. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting North Central Branch. p. 68. Technical Abstract: Heliothine moths are major polyphagous pests of commodity crops such as maize, cotton, soybeans and vegetables throughout the world. Control of larvae of the North American pest moth Heliothis virescens, also known as the budworm, and other closely related heliothines would be fundamentally advanced by understanding the basic physiological and behavioral/ neurobiological life processes such as host range, foraging, gustatory, olfactory; insecticide resistance and detoxification; digestion and excretion; migration and diapause; larval and pupal cuticle development; male and female reproduction and pheromonal communication; endocrinology; and resistance to entomopathogens and parasitoids. In order to pursue these important physiological questions a database of over 85,000 expressed sequence tags has been pooled from various sources, life stages and tissues. These transcript sequences have been assembled, annotated and organized into a functional genomic unigene set for H. virescens: Heliobase. Although, as an artifact of the pooling process, many environmental transcripts are missing, a near-complete transcriptome can be inferred from Heliobase. Heliobase sequence data was mined to design functional genomic experiments detailing the larval responses to bacterial and viral infection. Thus we have demonstrated that the resistance of pest insects to infection by microbial entomopathogens can be closely studied for vulnerabilities.