Transcriptional Regulation of Reproductive Diapause in the Convergent Lady Beetle, Hippodamia convergens

Emily A.W. Nadeau, Melise C. Lecheta, John J. Obrycki, Nicholas M. Teets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Diapause is an alternate development program that synchronizes an insect’s life cycle with seasonally abundant resources and ensures survival in unfavorable conditions. The physiological basis of diapause has been well characterized, but the molecular mechanisms regulating it are still being elucidated. Here, we present a de novo transcriptome and quantify transcript expression during diapause in the convergent lady beetle Hippodamia convergens. H. convergens is used as an augmentative biocontrol agent, and adult females undergo reproductive diapause that is regulated by photoperiod. We sampled females at three stages (early, mid, and late diapause) and compared transcript expression to non-diapausing individuals. Based on principle component analysis, the transcriptomes of diapausing beetles were distinct from non-diapausing beetles, and the three diapausing points tended to cluster together. However, there were still classes of transcripts that differed in expression across distinct phases of diapause. In general, transcripts involved in muscle function and flight were upregulated during diapause, likely to support dispersal flights that occur during diapause, while transcripts involved in ovarian development were downregulated. This information could be used to improve biological control by manipulating diapause. Additionally, our data contribute to a growing understanding of the genetic regulation of diapause across diverse insects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number343
JournalInsects
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by Hatch Project 1010996 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to N.M.T and a University of Kentucky College of Food, Agriculture and Environment Research Activity Award to J.J.O.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Coleoptera
  • RNA-Seq
  • biological control
  • reproductive diapause
  • transcriptomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science

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