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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IPM TECHNOLOGIES FOR INSECT PESTS OF ORCHARD CROPS

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Leafhopper comparative genomics - Identifying similarities and differences across Leafhopper vectors of Xylella fastidiosa

Author
item Welch, Ed
item Hunter, Wayne
item Shelby, Kent
item Mizell, Russell
item Tipping, Christopher
item Katsar, Catherine
item Bextine, Blake

Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/8/2011
Publication Date: 9/5/2011
Publication URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.3958/059.036.0308
Citation: Welch, E., Hunter, W.B., Shelby, K., Mizell, R.F., Tipping, C., Katsar, C.S., Bextine, B.R. 2011. Leafhopper comparative genomics - Identifying similarities and differences across Leafhopper vectors of Xylella fastidiosa . Southwestern Entomologist. 36:305-321.

Interpretive Summary: A genomics approach was used to compare the transcripts of three leafhoppers (glassy-winged sharpshooter, blue-green sharpshooter, and black-winged sharpshooter) which are vectors of plant pathogenic bacteria, Xylella fastidiosa, a plant pathogen of fruit crops. Genetic comparisons of the 43,400 available genetic sequences demonstrated an available set of 4,800 specific sequences within each leafhopper. Approximately 40-48% of the genes were identified as common physiology. These are predicted to be approximately one-fourth of the active genes of these leafhoppers. Examination of enzymes which play a vital role in the internal metabolism and physiology of insects along with additional analyses demonstrated significant differences suitable for designing species-specific targeting of these genes within leafhoppers. Strategies like RNA-interference should be effective management tools to reduce leafhopper abundance, and/or reduce transmission of plant pathogens.

Technical Abstract: Leafhoppers, (Hemiptera) are considered the second most important group of plant pathogen vectors. Three leafhopper species which transmit Xylella fastidiosa, a plant pathogen of fruit crops, were examined by comparison of the available expressed sequence tags, ~43,400 ESTs (Hunter datasets, National Centre Biotechnology Information). The plant-pathogenic bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa is the causal agent of Pierce’s disease of grapevine. Examination of gene expression across these leafhopper species, the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis, blue-green sharpshooter, Graphocephala atropunctata, and black-winged sharpshooter, Oncometopia nigricans, compared approximately 4,800 specific transcripts for each species, with most of these (~40-48%) being identified as house-keeping. These are predicted to be approximately one-fourth of the active genes of these leafhoppers, based on comparative analysis of genomes of other insects in the order Hemiptera. Study of transcripts specific to delta-9 desaturase enzymes which play a vital role in the internal metabolism and physiology of insects, with additional analyses demonstrated significant differences for species-specific targeting of these genes within leafhoppers. Strategies like RNA-interference should be able to design specific and effective management tools to reduce leafhopper abundance, and/or reduce transmission of plant pathogens.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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