Submitted to: Entomology Society America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 23, 2005
Publication Date: November 6, 2005
Citation: Hunter, W.B., Katsar, C.S., Backus, E.A. 2005. Glassy-winged Sharpshooter midgut gene expression (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Homalodisca coagulata [abstract]. Entomology Society America Annual Meeting. Dec. 15-18. Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Paper No. 23182. Technical Abstract: The severe impact of Pierce's Disease upon the U.S. grape industry has generated the need to rapidly understand the epidemiology of this disease. The primary insect vector is a leafhopper, the glassy-winged sharpshooter, GWSS. Using molecular methods we produced a tissue specific gene expression library to GWSS midgut. We sequenced approximately 5,000 express sequence tags, and were able to identify approximately 2,000 genes using in silico analyses between the GWSS sequences to the known genetic database at the National Center of Biotechnology and Information, NCBI. One important set of genes identified were the first reported laccases from leafhoppers, serine proteases, and proteinase inhibitors which are associated with insect feeding and digestion. Primers to these genes have been produced and enable the monitoring of the expression of these genes during feeding on different host plants and/or diets. Our objectives are to develop environmentally friendly, sound management programs to reduce the spread of Pierce's Disease through the reduction of GWSS feeding. The power of cDNA expression libraries for GWSS midguts has enabled us to identify several different digestive enzymes that are expressed during insect feeding. The elucidation of GWSS digestion provides insights into host plant utilization and identifies potential new genetic targets for use in the management of the vectors of Pierce's Disease of grapes.