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Keywords:

  • Colorado potato beetle;
  • Leptinotarsa decemlineata;
  • tobacco hornworm;
  • Manduca sexta;
  • 454 sequencing;
  • RNA interference;
  • RNAi machinery;
  • dsRNA uptake;
  • gut transcriptome;
  • siRNA;
  • microRNA;
  • piRNA

Abstract

In the search for new methods of pest control, the potential of RNA interference (RNAi) is being explored. Because the gut is the first barrier for the uptake of double-stranded (ds)RNA, pyrosequencing of the gut transcriptome is a powerful tool for obtaining the necessary sequences for specific dsRNA-mediated pest control. In the present study, a dataset representing the gut transcriptome of the Colorado potato beetle (CPB; Leptinotarsa decemlineata) was generated and analysed for the presence of RNAi-related genes. Almost all selected genes that were implicated in silencing efficiency at different levels in the RNAi pathway (core machinery, associated intracellular factors, dsRNA uptake, antiviral RNAi, nucleases), which uses different types of small RNA (small interfering RNA, microRNA and piwi-RNA), were expressed in the CPB gut. Although the database is of lower quality, the majority of the RNAi genes are also found to be present in the gut transcriptome of the tobacco hornworm [TH; Manduca sexta (19 out of 35 genes analysed)]. The high quality of the CPB transcriptome database will lay the foundation for future gene expression and functional studies regarding the gut and RNAi.