Submitted to: Florida Scientist
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2010
Publication Date: 3/19/2010
Citation: Hunter, W.B., Gigsby, T.M. 2010. Rab11 gene identified in glassy-winged sharpshooter (Homalodisca vitripennis) [abstract]. Florida Scientist. 73(1):4.AGR-P01. Available: www.barry.edu/fas/. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: This is a first report of a Rab11 protein within leafhoppers. Identification and sequencing of the Rab11 in the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) now provides the means to develop gene silencing mechanisms which may be used to suppress leafhopper populations. The glassy-winged sharpshooter is the primary vector which spreads a bacterial pathogen of grapevine, and other woody fruit crops. The high fecundity and large host range of this insect makes successful use of traditional control strategies difficult. As genomics projects continue to identify genes from leafhoppers, such as Rab11-Hv, advancing control strategies now focus on disruption of the gene transcript to cause increased mortality of the leafhopper pest. These strategies are used in conjunction with the natural immune mechanisms in insects. The Rab11-Hv interacts mainly with the recycling endosome’s tubular network and Golgi associated functions. The GTPases of the Rab proteins provide molecular identifiers allowing the production, maintenance and transport of intracellular compartments in the Golgi apparatus. Identification and sequencing has now provided an opportunity for the development of RNA inhibition of these cellular functions in leafhoppers. Reducing the spread of Pierce’s disease and other bacterial caused plant diseases spread by these leafhoppers will provide new directions of research focused on limiting the economic losses caused by these important agricultural pests.