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Transcriptome analysis reveals a comprehensive insect resistance response mechanism in cotton to infestation by the phloem feeding insect Bemisia tabaci (whitefly).

Update Time: 2016-06-21 09:14:24Click:5758 times
Jianying Li , Lizhen Zhu , J. Joe Hull , Sijia Liang , Henry Daniell , Shuangxia Jin * and Xianlong Zhang.2016.Plant Biotechnol J.


The whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) causes tremendous damage to cotton production worldwide. However, very limited information is available about how plants perceive and defend themselves from this destructive pest. In this study, the transcriptomics differences between two cotton cultivars that exhibit either strong resistance (HR) or sensitivity (ZS) to whitefly were compared at different time points (0, 12, 24, and 48 hr after infection) using RNA-Seq. Approximately one billion paired-end reads were obtained by Illumina sequencing technology. Gene ontology and KEGG pathwayanalysis indicated that the cotton transcriptional response to whitefly infestation involves genes encoding protein kinases, transcription factors, metabolite synthesis, and phytohormone signaling. Further, a weighted gene co-expression network constructed from RNA-Seq datasets showed that WRKY40 and copper transport protein are hub genes that may regulate cotton defenses to whitefly infestation. Silencing GhMPK3 by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) resulted in suppression of the MPK-WRKY-JA and ET pathways and lead to enhanced whitefly susceptibility, suggesting that the candidate insect resistant genes identified in this RNA-Seq analysis are credible and offer significant utility. Taken together, this study provides comprehensive insights into the cotton defense system to whitefly infestation and has identified several candidate genes for control of phloem-feeding pests. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID:26923339 (IF=6.1)

 doi: 10.1111/pbi.12554.