1. State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China.
2. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Corn Insects & Crop Genetics Research Unit, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50011, USA
Tiantao Zhang and Brad S. Coates contributed equally to this work.
The Asian corn borer (ACB), Ostrinia furnacalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), is a highly destructive pest of cultivated maize throughout East Asia. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystalline protein (Cry) toxins cause mortality by a mechanism involving pore formation or signal transduction following toxin binding to receptors along the midgut lumen of susceptible insects, but this mechanism and mutations therein that lead to resistance are not fully understood. In the current study, quantitative comparisons were made among midgut expressed transcripts from O. furnacalis susceptible (ACB-BtS) and laboratory selected strains resistant to Cry1Ab (ACB-AbR) and Cry1Ac toxins (ACB-AcR) when feeding on non-Bt diet. From a combined de novo transcriptome assembly of 83,370 transcripts, ORFs of ≥ 100 amino acids were predicted and annotated for 28,940 unique isoforms derived from 12,288 transcripts. Transcriptome-wide expression estimated from RNA-seq read depths predicted significant down-regulation of transcripts for previously known Bt resistance genes, aminopeptidase N1 (apn1) and apn3, as well as a putative ATP binding cassette transporter group G (abcg) gene in both ACB-AbR and -AcR (log2[fold-change] ≥ 1.36; P < 0.0001). The transcripts that were most highly differentially regulated in both ACB-AbR and -AcR compared to ACB-BtS (log2[fold-change] ≥ 2.0; P < 0.0001) included up- and down-regulation of serine proteases, storage proteins and cytochrome P450 monooxygenases, as well as up-regulation of genes with predicted transport function. This study predicted the significant down-regulation of transcripts for previously known Bt resistance genes, aminopeptidase N1 (apn1) and apn3, as well as abccg gene in both ACB-AbR and -AcR. These data are important for the understanding of systemic differences between Bt resistant and susceptible genotypes.
Keywords: Ostrinia furnacalis, Bacillus thuringiensis, resistance, midgut, transcriptome.