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Title: A peptidoglycan recognition protein acts in whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) immunity and involves in Begomovirus acquisition

item WANG, ZHI-ZHI - Zhejiang University
item MIN, SHI - Zhejiang University
item HUANG, YI-CUN - Zhejiang University
item WANG, XIAO-WEI - Zhejiang University
item Stanley, David
item CHEN, XUE-XIN - Zhejiang University

Submitted to: Scientific Reports
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/2/2016
Publication Date: 11/28/2016
Citation: Wang, Z., Min, S., Huang, Y., Wang, X., Stanley, D.W., Chen, X. 2016. A peptidoglycan recognition protein acts in whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) immunity and involves in Begomovirus acquisition. Scientific Reports. doi:10.1038/srep37806.

Interpretive Summary: Application of classical pesticides has introduced severe problems in agricultural sustainability. The concept of biological control of insects and plant pathogens is a potentially powerful alternative to classical insecticides. A problem, however, is some insects that feed on the juices of plants also transmit plant pathogenic viruses to healthy plants. In doing so, the insects inflict two kinds of damage onto plants, feeding damage and plant health damage. Whiteflies spread many viruses among crop plants. Economic losses are estimated in hundreds of millions of dollars. We report the identification of a protein that helps whiteflies protect themselves from the plant viruses they carry. Blocking the production of this protein weakened whitefly immune reactions to the plant viruses and to insect pathogenic bacterial infections. This new research will be directly useful to scientists who are working to improve the efficacy of biological control technologies and programs. The ensuing improved biological control methods will benefit a wide range of agricultural producers and consumers by supporting the long-term sustainability of agriculture.

Technical Abstract: Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs) are multifunctional pattern recognition proteins. Here, we posed the hypothesis that a PGRP gene, BtPGRP, encodes a PGRP that binds and kills bacteria and that Begomovirus infection induces BtPGRP expression. We analyzed the gene sequences, the in vitro activities, transcriptional profilings, and the distribution of the protein in the midgut. We silenced expression of BtPGRP with artificial media amended with dsRNA, which led to reduced expression of a gene encoding an antimicrobial peptide, B. tobaci c-type lysozyme. Begomovirus infection led to increased expression of BtPGRP. We propose that BtPGRP has a potential tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) binding site because we recorded the co-localization of TYLCV and BtPGRP in midguts. The biological significance of our results lies in understanding the complexity of whitefly/Begomovirus interactions, many of which depend on molecular mechanisms that remain to be illuminated.