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Title: Genome sequencing and analysis of the whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) MEAM1, one of the most important vectors for plant viruses

item Ling, Kai-Shu

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2015
Publication Date: 2/14/2016
Citation: Ling, K. 2016. Genome sequencing and analysis of the whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) MEAM1, one of the most important vectors for plant viruses. 2nd International WhiteFly Symposium. p36.

Interpretive Summary: N/A

Technical Abstract: Among whiteflies, the Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) species complex is particularly important because of its ability to transmit hundreds of plant viruses, resulting in the loss of billions of U.S. dollars on agronomically important crops such as tomato, cucurbits, cassava, and cotton worldwide. Ninety percent of whitefly-transmitted viruses belong to the genus Begomovirus, with additional Bemisia-transmitted viruses in the genera Crinivirus, Carlavirus, Ipomovirus, and Torradovirus. The objective of the present study was to sequence the genome of the whitefly, B. tabaci, MEAM1 (or B biotype). Using 6,500 male (haploid) individuals isolated from an isogenic colony of B. tabaci, developed in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S., high quality DNA was obtained and used for Illumina and PacBio sequencing. A total of 207.3 Gb cleaned Illumina sequences and 4 Gb PacBio long reads were produced, which represented 306.2-fold coverage of the estimated haploid genome size of ~680-690 Mb. De novo assembly resulted in a final draft genome of 616.8 Mb (or 89.4% of the MEAM1 genome). A total of 15,658 protein-coding genes were predicted, with 13,563 genes (86.6%) supported by ribonucleic acid (RNA)-Seq data, 7,322 genes (46.8%) by homologous proteins and 6,473 genes (41.3%) by both methods. Approximately 74.3% of the predicted genes had either known homologs or could be functionally classified. We manually annotated ~1,400 genes, including those associated with amino acid biosynthesis pathways, horizontally transferred genes between the whitefly and bacterial symbionts, immune responses, detoxification, DNA methylation, RNA interference, and other pathways. In addition, comparative differential gene expression profiles in whiteflies feeding on healthy tomato and tomato infected by tomato yellow leaf curl virus or tomato chlorosis virus were determined using RNA-Seq. The genome will serve as a foundation for studying the genetic basis of the B. tabaci species complex, virus transmission, and coevolution with bacterial endosymbionts, with an ultimate goal to develop new strategies to manage whiteflies and the viruses they transmit.