Project description:The pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella, is a world-wide pest of cotton and in some parts of the cotton growing region is controlled by the mating disruption technique using synthetic sex pheromone. The sex pheromone consists of two compounds, (Z,Z)- and (Z,E)-7,11-hexadecadienyl acetates, in about a 50:50 ratio. However, recently, a population with sex pheromone compound ratios of about 62:38 were found in cotton fields that use mating disruption in Israel. To investigate how the change developed, we compared the pheromone gland transcriptomes between a reference laboratory population and a population obtained from an Israeli cotton field utilizing mating disruption. We analyzed four biological replicates from each population and found transcripts encoding 17 desaturases, 8 reductases, and 17 candidate acetyltransferases in both populations, which could be involved in sex pheromone biosynthesis. The expression abundance of some genes between the two populations was different. Some desaturases and candidate acetyltransferases were found to have mutated in one of the populations. The differentially expressed genes play potential roles in sex pheromone biosynthesis and could be involved in causing altered female sex pheromone ratios in the field population.
Project description:Evolution of resistance by insect pests can reduce the benefits of insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that are used extensively in sprays and transgenic crops. Despite considerable knowledge of the genes conferring insect resistance to Bt toxins in laboratory-selected strains and in field populations exposed to Bt sprays, understanding of the genetic basis of field-evolved resistance to Bt crops remains limited. In particular, previous work has not identified the genes conferring resistance in any cases where field-evolved resistance has reduced the efficacy of a Bt crop. Here we report that mutations in a gene encoding a cadherin protein that binds Bt toxin Cry1Ac are associated with field-evolved resistance of pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella) in India to Cry1Ac produced by transgenic cotton. We conducted laboratory bioassays that confirmed previously reported resistance to Cry1Ac in pink bollworm from the state of Gujarat, where Bt cotton producing Cry1Ac has been grown extensively. Analysis of DNA from 436 pink bollworm from seven populations in India detected none of the four cadherin resistance alleles previously reported to be linked with resistance to Cry1Ac in laboratory-selected strains of pink bollworm from Arizona. However, DNA sequencing of pink bollworm derived from resistant and susceptible field populations in India revealed eight novel, severely disrupted cadherin alleles associated with resistance to Cry1Ac. For these eight alleles, analysis of complementary DNA (cDNA) revealed a total of 19 transcript isoforms, each containing a premature stop codon, a deletion of at least 99 base pairs, or both. Seven of the eight disrupted alleles each produced two or more different transcript isoforms, which implicates alternative splicing of messenger RNA (mRNA). This represents the first example of alternative splicing associated with field-evolved resistance that reduced the efficacy of a Bt crop.
Project description:Genetically engineered cotton and corn plants producing insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins kill some key insect pests. Yet, evolution of resistance by pests threatens long-term insect control by these transgenic Bt crops. We compared the genetic basis of resistance to Bt toxin Cry1Ac in two independently derived, laboratory-selected strains of a major cotton pest, the pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella [Saunders]). The Arizona pooled resistant strain (AZP-R) was started with pink bollworm from 10 field populations and selected with Cry1Ac in diet. The Bt4R resistant strain was started with a long-term susceptible laboratory strain and selected first with Bt cotton bolls and later with Cry1Ac in diet. Previous work showed that AZP-R had three recessive mutations (r1, r2, and r3) in the pink bollworm cadherin gene (PgCad1) linked with resistance to Cry1Ac and Bt cotton producing Cry1Ac. Here we report that inheritance of resistance to a diagnostic concentration of Cry1Ac was recessive in Bt4R. In interstrain complementation tests for allelism, F(1) progeny from crosses between AZP-R and Bt4R were resistant to Cry1Ac, indicating a shared resistance locus in the two strains. Molecular analysis of the Bt4R cadherin gene identified a novel 15-bp deletion (r4) predicted to cause the loss of five amino acids upstream of the Cry1Ac-binding region of the cadherin protein. Four recessive mutations in PgCad1 are now implicated in resistance in five different strains, showing that mutations in cadherin are the primary mechanism of resistance to Cry1Ac in laboratory-selected strains of pink bollworm from Arizona.
Project description:Reproductive isolation between different host populations is often based on intraspecific sex pheromone differences. The mechanisms underlying these differences have not been thoroughly elucidated to date. Previous studies suggested that Chilo suppressalis has differentiated into rice and water-oat host populations, and these two populations manifest clear differences in sex pheromone titer and mating rhythm. Hence, this moth is an ideal model to investigate the endogenous mechanisms of intraspecific reproductive isolation. Here, we identified a series of putative genes associated with sex pheromone biosynthesis based on the C. suppressalis pheromone gland transcriptome data. Transcripts of most genes were at higher level in the rice population. Then we obtained 11 pivotal differentially expressed genes (DEGs). The expression levels of these DEGs exhibited a distinct increase in the rice population. Moreover, we also observed the expression rhythm of these DEGs is discrepant between two host populations. Our study offers a new understanding to elucidate the mechanisms of intraspecific reproductive isolation.
Project description:Pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders) infestation on Bt cotton is a major concern to cotton production in India. The genetic diversity and phylogeographic structure of the insect in light of PBW resistance needs to be revisited. The objective of this study was to identify different haplotypes of pink bollworm and their distribution in India. To achieve this we studied the population structure in 44 cotton growing districts of India. The partial mitochondrial COI sequence analyses of 214 pink bollworm populations collected from 44 geographical locations representing 9 cotton growing states of India were analysed. Genetic diversity analysis exhibited presence of 27 haplotypes, among them Pg_H1 and Pg_H2 were the most common and were present in 143 and 32 populations, respectively. Distributions of pairwise differences obtained with partial COI gene data from the overall Indian populations are unimodal, suggesting population expansion in India. Significant neutrality test on the basis of Tajima' D and Fu's Fs presented a star-shaped haplotype network together with multiple haplotypes. The unimodal mismatch distribution, rejection of neutrality test with significant negative values supported the theory of demographic expansion in cotton pink bollworm populations in India. Genetic data not only provides us with a perspective of population genetics, but also that the two populations of pink bollworm, those occurring early in the season are genetically close to the late season populations with respect to their partial CO1 region. Resistance to Cry toxins does not seem to have had an impact on this region of the mt DNA in populations of pink bollworm.
Project description:Transgenic crops producing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins kill key insect pests, providing economic and environmental benefits. However, the evolution of pest resistance threatens the continued success of such Bt crops. To delay or counter resistance, transgenic plant "pyramids" producing two or more Bt proteins that kill the same pest have been adopted extensively. Field populations of the pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella) in the United States have remained susceptible to Bt toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab, but field-evolved practical resistance to Bt cotton producing Cry1Ac has occurred widely in India. Here we used two rounds of laboratory selection to achieve 18,000- to 150,000-fold resistance to Cry2Ab in pink bollworm. Inheritance of resistance to Cry2Ab was recessive, autosomal, conferred primarily by one locus, and independent of Cry1Ac resistance. We created a strain with high resistance to both toxins by crossing the Cry2Ab-resistant strain with a Cry1Ac-resistant strain, followed by one selection with Cry2Ab. This multi-toxin resistant strain survived on field-collected Bt cotton bolls producing both toxins. The results here demonstrate the risk of evolution of resistance to pyramided Bt plants, particularly when toxins are deployed sequentially and refuges are scarce, as seen with Bt cotton and pink bollworm in India.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Sex pheromone communication systems may be a major force driving moth speciation by causing behavioral reproductive isolation via assortative meeting of conspecific individuals. The 'E' and 'Z' pheromone races of the European corn borer (ECB) are a textbook example in this respect. 'Z' females produce and 'Z' males preferentially respond to a 'Z' pheromone blend, while the 'E' race communicates via an 'E' blend. Both races do not freely hybridize in nature and their populations are genetically differentiated. A straightforward explanation would be that their reproductive isolation is a mere consequence of "assortative meeting" resulting from their different pheromones specifically attracting males towards same-race females at long range. However, previous laboratory experiments and those performed here show that even when moths are paired in a small box - i.e., when the meeting between sexual partners is forced - inter-race couples still have a lower mating success than intra-race ones. Hence, either the difference in attractivity of E vs. Z pheromones for males of either race still holds at short distance or the reproductive isolation between E and Z moths may not only be favoured by assortative meeting, but must also result from an additional mechanism ensuring significant assortative mating at close range. Here, we test whether this close-range mechanism is linked to the E/Z female sex pheromone communication system. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using crosses and backcrosses of E and Z strains, we found no difference in mating success between full-sisters emitting different sex pheromones. Conversely, the mating success of females with identical pheromone types but different coefficients of relatedness to the two parental strains was significantly different, and was higher when their genetic background was closer to that of their male partner's pheromone race. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that the close-range mechanism ensuring assortative mating between the E and Z ECB pheromone races is unrelated to the difference in female sex pheromone. Although the nature of this mechanism remains elusive, our results show that it is expressed in females, acts at close range, segregates independently of the autosome carrying Pher and of both sex chromosomes, and is widely distributed since it occurs both in France and in the USA.
Project description:The Indian meal moth Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), is controlled by commercial mating disruption dispensers using passive release to emit high concentrations (relative to females or monitoring lures) of their principal sex pheromone component, (9Z,12E)-tetradecadienyl acetate. Since P. interpunctella is sexually active throughout the scotophase, an assay system was developed to determine the importance of direct interaction of the male with the dispenser, and whether exposure to mating disruption early in the night is sufficient to suppress mating throughout the night. Exposure to mating disruption dispensers in the mating assay chamber for the first two hours of a 10-h scotophase significantly reduced mating when females were introduced four hours later. Mating was also reduced to a lesser degree in a concentration-dependent manner based solely on re-emission of pheromone, and when males were exposed outside the mating assay chamber. These results indicate that the commercial mating disruption dispensers can suppress mating throughout the night based on interaction with the dispenser early in the night. Desensitization resulting from attraction to a high-concentration pheromone source is important to this suppression, but other factors such as re-emission from the environment may also have a role. These observations imply a non-competitive mechanism for P. interpunctella with the product studied, and suggest that effectiveness of the mating disruption dispenser might be augmented by using them in conjunction with another formulation such as an aerosol or micro-encapsulated product.
Project description:Evolution of pest resistance threatens the benefits of crops genetically engineered to produce insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Field populations of the pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella), a global pest of cotton, have evolved practical resistance to transgenic cotton producing Bt toxin Cry2Ab in India, but not in the United States. Previous results show that recessive mutations disrupting an autosomal ATP-binding cassette gene (PgABCA2) are associated with pink bollworm resistance to Cry2Ab in field-selected populations from India and in one lab-selected strain from the United States (Bt4-R2). Here we discovered that an independently derived, lab-selected Cry2Ab-resistant pink bollworm strain from the United States (BX-R) also harbors mutations that disrupt PgABCA2. Premature stop codons introduced by mis-splicing of PgABCA2 pre-mRNA were prevalent in field-selected larvae from India and in both lab-selected strains. The most common mutation in field-selected larvae from India was also detected in both lab-selected strains. Results from interstrain crosses indicate BX-R has at least one additional mechanism of resistance to Cry2Ab that does not involve PgABCA2 and is not completely recessive or autosomal. We conclude that recessive mutations disrupting PgABCA2 are the primary, but not the only, mechanism of resistance to Cry2Ab in pink bollworm.
Project description:Sexual reproduction is a universal mechanism for generating genetic diversity in eukaryotes. Fungi exhibit diverse strategies for sexual reproduction both in nature and in the laboratory. In this study, we report the discovery of same-sex (homothallic) mating in the human fungal pathogen Candida tropicalis. We show that same-sex mating occurs between two cells carrying the same mating type (MTLa/a or ?/?) and requires the presence of pheromone from the opposite mating type as well as the receptor for this pheromone. In ménage à trois mating mixes (i.e., "a x a + ? helper" or "? x ? + a helper" mixes), pheromone secreted by helper strains promotes diploid C. tropicalis cells to undergo same-sex mating and form tetraploid products. Surprisingly, however, the tetraploid mating products can then efficiently mate with cells of the opposite mating type to generate hexaploid products. The unstable hexaploid progeny generated from this coupled process of same- and opposite-sex mating undergo rapid chromosome loss and generate extensive genetic variation. Phenotypic analysis demonstrated that the mating progeny-derived strains exhibit diverse morphologies and phenotypes, including differences in secreted aspartic proteinase (Sap) activity and susceptibility to the antifungal drugs. Thus, the coupling of same- and opposite-sex mating represents a novel mode to generate polyploidy and genetic diversity, which may facilitate the evolution of new traits in C. tropicalis and adaptation to changing environments.