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Gene selection for studying frugivore-plant interactions: a review and an example using Queensland fruit fly in tomato.

ABSTRACT: Fruit production is negatively affected by a wide range of frugivorous insects, among them tephritid fruit flies are one of the most important. As a replacement for pesticide-based controls, enhancing natural fruit resistance through biotechnology approaches is a poorly researched but promising alternative. The use of quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) is an approach to studying gene expression which has been widely used in studying plant resistance to pathogens and non-frugivorous insect herbivores, and offers a starting point for fruit fly studies. In this paper, we develop a gene selection pipe-line for known induced-defense genes in tomato fruit, Solanum lycopersicum, and putative detoxification genes in Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni, as a basis for future RT-qPCR research. The pipeline started with a literature review on plant/herbivore and plant/pathogen molecular interactions. With respect to the fly, this was then followed by the identification of gene families known to be associated with insect resistance to toxins, and then individual genes through reference to annotated B. tryoni transcriptomes and gene identity matching with related species. In contrast for tomato, a much better studied species, individual defense genes could be identified directly through literature research. For B. tryoni, gene selection was then further refined through gene expression studies. Ultimately 28 putative detoxification genes from cytochrome P450 (P450), carboxylesterase (CarE), glutathione S-transferases (GST), and ATP binding cassette transporters (ABC) gene families were identified for B. tryoni, and 15 induced defense genes from receptor-like kinase (RLK), D-mannose/L-galactose, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), lipoxygenase (LOX), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) pathways and polyphenol oxidase (PPO), proteinase inhibitors (PI) and resistance (R) gene families were identified from tomato fruit. The developed gene selection process for B. tryoni can be applied to other herbivorous and frugivorous insect pests so long as the minimum necessary genomic information, an annotated transcriptome, is available.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC8359797 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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