Submitted to: PLOS ONE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/4/2014
Publication Date: 11/11/2014
Citation: Sparks, M., Shelby, K., Kuhar, D.J., Gundersen, D.E. 2014. Transcriptome of the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, halyomorpha halys (stål) (heteroptera: pentatomidae). PLoS One. 9(11_:e111646. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111646.
Interpretive Summary: The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invasive pest from Asia, has established as a major invasive agricultural pest insect in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, and has spread to 40 states as well as parts of Canada and central Europe. BMSB is a pest of many significant agricultural crops including specialty crops, vegetables, field crops, and ornamentals, with significant economic damage recorded in the United States. It is also a serious nuisance pest when overwintering aggregations occur in homes and businesses. Very little genetic information has been generated for the significant BMSB pest even though this information would help scientists devise new biological control strategies that may slow its spread or inform its control. In order to analyze the total genetic components (called the “transcriptome”) produced by the BMSB, we comparatively analyzed whole insects from early and late developmental stages as well as male and female adults. We generated new genetic information for the BMSB pest that will be publicly accessible. We found numerous candidate genetic components associated with the BMSB pest that could represent new targets for biological control strategies or could give us information about resistance development by BMSB in the environment. This information will be of interest to scientists, growers, and biopesticide companies that are interested in developing new or molecule-based novel strategies towards control of BMSB.
Technical Abstract: Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), is an invasive agricultural and nuisance pest rapidly and aggressively expanding its geographic incidence in North America. This voracious pest poses significant threats to both rural and urban agriculture, especially to specialty crops such as apples, grapes and ornamental plants, as well as to staple crops including soybean and corn. The object of this study was to generate transcriptomic resources for BMSB. In summary, 439,615,225 RNA-Seq reads were assembled into a total of 248,569 putatively unique transcripts (PUTs). Of these, 4,794 were classified into the gold tier, 16,878 into the silver, and 14,357 into the bronze. The gold-tier PUTs associated with 2,580 distinct non-redundant protein sequences obtained from the NCBI NR database—1,785 of these NR proteins (69%) could be mapped to annotated proteins in the Swiss-Prot subset of the UniProtKB database, from which 1,273 unique Pfam families and 459 unique GO terms from the Molecular Function aspect were encountered. Of the silver tier’s 6,527 unique GI numbers, 4,193 mapped to UniProtKB entries (64%), from which 1,941 and 640 unique Pfam and Molecular Function-specific GO terms were extracted. PUTs similar to hypothetical proteins of Nosema ceranae, a honeybee parasite, were more abundantly expressed in adults versus nymphs. The availability of a sizable number of H. halys genes will be useful for conducting reverse genetic screens to determine host gene function, as well as to design environmentally unobtrusive means to control host population levels using, for example, administration of double-stranded RNA.