Location: Biological Control of Insects ResearchTitle: Gut transcription in Helicoverpa zea is dynamically altered in response to baculovirus infection) Author
Submitted to: Insects
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2013
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Heavy economic loss in many agricultural commodities is caused worldwide by pest moths such as the corn earworm and the closely related Old World bollworm. Using a library of bollworm DNA sequences, corn earworm genes isolated from the larval gut were screened for expression changes in response to insect baculovirus infection. Over 1100 genes were found to change expression in response to infection and were identified and grouped according to function. This information will be used worldwide by researchers to study genes that influence the immunity and other systems of the budworm. Ultimately this type of information will help us understand what control measures work best and predict the potential resistance an insect might develop to these control measures.
Technical Abstract: The Helicoverpa zea transcriptome was analyzed 24 hours after H. zea larvae fed on artificial diet laced with Helicoverpa zea single nucleopolyhedrovirus (HzSNPV). Significant differential regulation of 1,139 putative genes (P<0.05 T-test with Benjamini and Hochberg False Discovery Rate) was detected in the gut epithelial tissue; 63% of these genes were down-regulated and 37% were up-regulated compared to the mock-infected controls. Genes that play important roles in digestive physiology were generally down-regulated. Among these were aminopeptidases, trypsin-like serine proteases, lipases, esterases and serine proteases. Genes related to the immune response reacted in a complex nature having peptidoglycan binding and viral antigen recognition proteins and antiviral pathway systems down-regulated, whereas antimicrobial peptides and prophenoloxidase were up-regulated. In general, detoxification genes, specifically cytochrome P450 and glutathione S-transferase were down-regulated as a result of infection. This report offers the first transcriptomic study of the influence of HzSNPV infection on gene expression in H. zea. and provides groundwork for continued research into transcriptional perturbations associated with viral infection and host responses to the viral insult in what is likely the most heavily infected tissue in the insect.