Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #378200

Research Project: Urban Small Farms and Gardens Pest Management

Location: Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory

Title: Transcriptome sequencing of the striped cucumber beetle, Acalymma vittatum (F.), reveals numerous sex-specific transcripts and xenobiotic detoxification genes

Author
item Sparks, Michael
item NELSON, DAVID - University Of Tennessee
item Haber, Ariela
item Weber, Donald
item Harrison, Robert - Bob

Submitted to: BioTech
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/22/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Acalymma vittatum (F.), the striped cucumber beetle, is an important pest of cucurbit crops, such as squash, pumpkin, cantaloupe and cucumbers, in the continental United States. It damages plants and reduces crop yields through both direct feeding and transmitting a bacterial disease. Genetic sequence data for this insect would not only help to generate new basic biological knowledge, but also contribute to the development of novel molecular biopesticides that can be deployed against infestations of this pest. In this study, the genetic sequence data of male and female adult beetles were determined from beetle ribonucleic acid (RNA). Analysis of this data identified 2,898 genes with considerably greater expression in males vs females (or vice versa). Three gene families associated with potential resistance to chemical pesticides were identified. The data and analyses generated as part of this study provide useful insights into genes associated with sex differentiation and with this beetle's innate capacity to develop resistance to pesticides, and will be of interest to scientists in government, industry, and academia who are working develop novel methods for monitoring and biocontrol of the striped cucumber beetle.

Technical Abstract: Acalymma vittatum (F.), the striped cucumber beetle, is an important pest of cucurbit crops in the contintental United States, damaging plants through both direct feeding and vectoring of a bacterial wilt pathogen. Besides providing basic biological knowledge, biosequence data for A. vittatum would be useful towards the development of molecular biopesticides to complement existing population control methods. However, no such datasets currently exist. In this study, three biological replicates apiece of male and female adult insects were sequenced and assembled into a set of 630,139 transcripts (of which 232,899 exhibited hits to one or more sequences in NCBI NR). Quantitative analyses identified 2,898 genes differentially expressed across the male-female divide, and qualitative analyses characterized the insect's resistome, comprising the glutathione S-transferase, carboxylesterase and cytochrome P450 monooxygenase families of xenobiotic detoxification genes. In summary, these data provide useful insights into genes associated with sex differentiation and this beetle's innate genic capacity to develop resistance to synthetic pesticides; furthermore, these genes may serve as useful targets for potential use in molecular-based biocontrol technologies.