Silencing of odorant-binding protein gene OBP3 using RNA interference reduced virus transmission of tomato chlorosis virus

Xiao Bin Shi, Xue Zhong Wang, De Yong Zhang, Zhan Hong Zhang, Zhuo Zhang, Ju'e Cheng, Li Min Zheng, Xu Guo Zhou, Xin Qiu Tan, Yong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Tomato chlorosis virus (ToCV) is widespread, seriously impacting tomato production throughout the world. ToCV is semi-persistently transmitted by Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). Currently, insect olfaction is being studied to develop novel pest control technologies to effectively control B. tabaci and whitefly-borne virus diseases. Despite current research efforts, no report has been published on the role of odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) in insect preference under the influence of plant virus. Our previous research showed that viruliferous B. tabaci preferred healthy plants at 48 h after virus acquisition. In this study, we determined the effect of OBPs on the host preference interactions of ToCV and whiteflies. Our results show that with the increase in acquisition time, the OBP gene expressions changed differently, and the OBP3 gene expression showed a trend of first rising and then falling, and reached the maximum at 48 h. These results indicate that OBP3 may participate in the host preference of viruliferous whiteflies to healthy plants. When the expression of the OBP3 gene was knocked down by an RNA interference (RNAi) technique, viruliferous Mediterranean (MED) showed no preference and the ToCV transmission rate was reduced by 83.3%. We conclude that OBP3 is involved in the detection of plant volatiles by viruliferous MED. Our results provide a theoretical basis and technical support for clarifying the transmission mechanism of ToCV by B. tabaci and could provide new avenues for controlling this plant virus and its vectors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4969
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Cr.


  • Bemisia tabaci
  • Feeding preference
  • Odor binding proteins
  • RNA interference
  • Tomato chlorotic virus
  • Volatile organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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