Submitted to: Florida Scientist
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2010
Publication Date: 3/19/2010
Citation: Schreiber, H.L., Hail, D., Hunter, W.B., Bextine, B.R. 2010. Heat shock proteins as a target for phylogenetic analysis of Homalodisca vitripennis [abstract]. Florida Scientists. 73(1)4. AGR-O02. Online: www.barry.edu/fas/. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Production of genomic data from the glassy-winged sharpshooter has identified a set of heat shock proteins which may be used to further the understanding of leafhopper biology and genetics. The glassy-winged sharpshooter, GWSS, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar)(Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), is the major vector of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa the causal agent of Pierce’s disease of grapevine and scorch-like diseases in other woody fruit crops. Current production of genomic information from leafhoppers provides insights into the genetic basis of leafhopper response to stress. Because of the importance of the GWSS in transmission and spread of Pierce’s disease, a cDNA library was constructed from adults and fifth instars which produced 5,906 expressed sequence tags (ESTs). After assembly this produced a set of 2,123 sequences that represented distinct transcripts. Computer analyses identified four significant homology matches to heat shock proteins (HSP), which are the focus of this study. The overall importance and function of heat shock proteins are in their ability to maintain protein integrity and function during stressful conditions, such as extreme heat, cold, or disease. Phylogenetic analyses using four heat shock protein sequences, HSP20, HSP40, HSP70, HSP90 provided further support of transcript similarities by the identification of specific sequence patterns called motifs. This study shows that highly conserved genes such as heat shock proteins are a viable alternative to ribosomal DNA in elucidating broader insect phylogenetic relationships.