Sensory gene identification in the transcriptome

Sensory genes play a key role in the host location of parasitoids. To date, the sensory genes that regulate parasitoids to locate gall-inducing insects have not been uncovered. An obligate ectoparasitoid, Quadrastichus mendeli Kim & La Salle (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae), is one of the most important parasitoids of Leptocybe invasa, which is a global gall-making pest in eucalyptus plantations. Interestingly, Q. mendeli can precisely locate the larva of L. invasa, which induces tumor-like growth on the eucalyptus leaves and stems. Therefore, Q. mendeliL. invasa provides an ideal system to study the way that parasitoids use sensory genes in gall-making pests.

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Fig: Distribution of transcriptome contigs from Quadrastichus mendeli adults. (a) Gene Ontology (GO) analysis. (b) Eukaryotic Orthologous Groups of protein (KOG) classification. (c) Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) classification. (n = 15,623).

In this study, we present the transcriptome of Q. mendeli using high-throughput sequencing. In total, 31,820 transcripts were obtained and assembled into 26,925 unigenes in Q. mendeli. Then, the major sensory genes were identified, and phylogenetic analyses were performed with these genes from Q. mendeli and other model insect species. Three chemosensory proteins (CSPs), 10 gustatory receptors (GRs), 21 ionotropic receptors (IRs), 58 odorant binding proteins (OBPs), 30 odorant receptors (ORs) and 2 sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMPs) were identified in Q. mendeli by bioinformatics analysis. Our report is the first to obtain abundant biological information on the transcriptome of Q. mendeli that provided valuable information regarding the molecular basis of Q. mendeli perception, and it may help to understand the host location of parasitoids of gall-making pests.

Huang, ZY., Wang, XY., Lu, W. et al. Sensory gene identification in the transcriptome of the ectoparasitoid Quadrastichus mendeli. Sci Rep11, 9726 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-89253-w

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