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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Mass Production of Biological Control Agents

Location: Biological Control of Pests Research

Title: Characterization of adult transcriptomes from the omnivorous lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata fed pollen or insect egg diet

Author
item Allen, Margaret - Meg

Submitted to: Journal of Genomics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/16/2014
Publication Date: 1/1/2015
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/60838
Citation: Allen, M.L. 2015. Characterization of adult transcriptomes from the omnivorous lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata fed pollen or insect egg diet. Journal of Genomics. 3:20-28. Available at http://www.jgenomics.com/v03p0020.pdf

Interpretive Summary: Diet, nutrition, and obesity are important topics of current research. While many insect genome models are based on dietary specialists, the lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata, a common North American species, is highly omnivorous. C. maculata feeds on plants, fungi, insects and other arthropods; its diet frequently includes conspecific cannibalism. This study reports and discusses the first nutritionally based C. maculata gene studies of their kind. The insects were fed a diet of either pollen only or eggs of a soft bodied insect only. Selected sequences were compared to verify basic genetic similarity of the sampled individuals. Genes associated with the two different diets were identified. Understanding how these genes work in an omnivorous insect will provide insights on human diets, human nutrition, and the genetics of obesity.

Technical Abstract: Diet, nutrition, and obesity are important topics of current research. While many insect genome and/or transcriptome models are based on dietary specialists, the lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata, a common New World species, is highly omnivorous. C. maculata feeds on plants, fungi, insects and other arthropods; its diet frequently includes conspecific cannibalism. This study reports and discusses the first nutritionally based C. maculata transcriptomes. These transcriptomes were prepared from highly inbred specimens provided limited diets, after adult eclosion, of either pollen only or eggs of a soft bodied hemipteran insect only. Selected sequences from the transcriptomes were compared to verify basic genetic similarity of the sampled individuals. Differentially expressed genes associated with these diets were identified to aid with studies of omnivore diet and nutrition. Selected transcriptome sequences described herein are filed with the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), GenBank Bioproject PRJNA236444.

Last Modified: 09/22/2017
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