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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Biological Control of Insects Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #349045

Research Project: Insect Biotechnology Products for Pest Control and Emerging Needs in Agriculture

Location: Biological Control of Insects Research

Title: An adenylyl cyclase gene (NlAC9) influences growth and fecundity in the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens (Stål) (Hemiptera: Delphacidae)

item GE, LIN-QUAN - Yangzhou University
item GU, HAO-TIAN - Yangzhou University
item HUANG, BO - Yangzhou University
item SONG, QISHENG - University Of Missouri
item Stanley, David
item LIU, FANG - Yangzhou University
item YANG, GUO-QING - Yangzhou University
item WU, JIN-CAI - Yangzhou University

Submitted to: PLOS ONE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2017
Publication Date: 12/13/2017
Citation: Ge, L., Gu, H., Huang, B., Song, Q., Stanley, D.W., Liu, F., Yang, G., Wu, J. 2017. An adenylyl cyclase gene (NlAC9) influences growth and fecundity in the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens (Stål) (Hemiptera: Delphacidae). PLoS One.

Interpretive Summary: Long-term agricultural sustainability is severely threatened by widespread use of classical insecticides. Threats include increasing resistance to insecticides and sharply decreasing environmental quality. These issues drive research into alternatives to classical insecticides. One potential alternative is based on applying molecular tools to inhibit expression of genes that are crucial to insect pest biology. In this paper, we examined the impact of inhibiting a specific gene responsible for production of energy necessary for successful reproduction in a pest insect species. We found that inhibiting this gene in males of the pest led to reduced fecundity in their mating partners. These findings demonstrate that this gene may be a novel target for developing insect pest control technologies. This research will influence scientists working to develop novel pest control technologies and, ultimately, will benefit farmers who produce food crops and the people who consume them.

Technical Abstract: The cAMP/PKA intracellular signaling pathway is launched by adenylyl cyclase (AC) conversion of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to 3', 5'-cyclic AMP (cAMP) and cAMP-dependent activation of PKA. Although this pathway is very well known in insect physiology, there is little to no information on it in some very small pest insects, such as the brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens Stål. BPH is a very dangerous pest of rice cropping systems, with potentials for tremendous crop losses. We are investigating the potentials of novel pest management technologies based on RNA interference. Based on analysis of transcriptomic data, the BPH AC9 gene (NlAC9) gene was up-regulated in post-mating females, which led us to pose the hypothesis that NlAC is a target gene that would lead to reduced BPH fitness and populations.. Targeting NlAC9 led to substantially decreased soluble ovarian protein content, yeast-like symbionts abundance, and vitellogenin gene expression, accompanied with stunted ovarian development and body sizes. Egg laying was decreased and oviposition periods were shortened. Taken together, our findings indicated that NlAC exerted pronounced effects on female fecundity, growth and longevity, which strongly supports our hypothesis.