Transcriptomic dissection of sexual differences in Bemisia tabaci, an invasive agricultural pest worldwide

Wen Xie, Litao Guo, Xiaoguo Jiao, Nina Yang, Xin Yang, Qingjun Wu, Shaoli Wang, Xuguo Zhou, Youjun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Sex difference involving chromosomes and gene expression has been extensively documented. In this study, the gender difference in the sweetpotato whitefly Bemisia tabaci was investigated using Illumina-based transcriptomic analysis. Gender-based RNAseq data produced 27 Gb reads, and subsequent de novo assembly generated 93,948 transcripts with a N50 of 1,853 bp. A total of 1,351 differentially expressed genes were identified between male and female B. tabaci, and majority of them were female-biased. Pathway and GO enrichment experiments exhibited a gender-specific expression, including enriched translation in females, and enhanced structural constituent of cuticle in male whiteflies. In addition, a putative transformer2 gene (tra2) was cloned, and the structural feature and expression profile of tra2 were investigated. Sexually dimorphic transcriptome is an uncharted territory for the agricultural insect pests. Molecular understanding of sex determination in B. tabaci, an emerging invasive insect pest worldwide, will provide potential molecular target(s) for genetic pest control alternatives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4088
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - Feb 14 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars (31025020), the 973 Program (2012 CB017359), and Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Horticultural Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, P.R. China.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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