Eur. J. Entomol. 114: 16-24, 2017 | 10.14411/eje.2017.003

Polygalacturonase gene expression and enzymatic activity in salivary glands of laboratory reared and wild populations of Lygus lineolaris (Hemiptera: Miridae)

Daniel FLEMING, Natraj KRISHNAN, Fred MUSSER
Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology, and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University, Box 9775, 100 Old Highway 12, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA, e-mails: def18@entomology.msstate.edu, nkrishnan@entomology.msstate.edu, fmusser@entomology.msstate.edu

Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois, 1818) (tarnished plant bug) is a serious pest of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in the Delta region as compared to cotton in the Hills region of the state of Mississippi in USA. The reason for this is unclear but it was hypothesized that the plant cell wall degrading polygalacturonase enzyme system in the salivary glands of L. lineolaris from the Delta could be better adapted for cotton, which is grown more predominantly in the Delta region than in the Hills region. Expression analysis of three primary polygalacturonase genes (LlPG1, LlPG2 and LlPG3) was conducted in laboratory reared and field collected populations of L. lineolaris. Assay of polygalacturonase enzyme activity was also conducted to compare wild collected populations. Initial laboratory and field data revealed gene expression differences in sex, age, region, and host plant which guided the direction of our subsequent study during 2013 and 2014. Based on the results of this study, we propose that the three genes studied may not be reflective of the entire polygalacturonase enzyme system and may not be solely responsible for the observed adaptation of L. lineolaris to cotton in the Delta region than in the Hills region. Analyses also revealed that the expression of the three targeted polygalacturonase genes was affected by the host plant from which the insects were collected and that adults had higher polygalacturonase expression than nymphs. Taken together, our results provide strong evidence for developmental stage specific and host plant based change in expression of PG genes in the salivary glands of L. lineolaris. This, however, was not reflected in total polygalacturonase enzyme activity which was not significantly different between regions, hosts, sex, or developmental stage.

Keywords: Hemiptera, Miridae, cotton, Lygus lineolaris, gene expression, polygalacturonase, salivary gland, enzyme activity

Received: July 26, 2016; Accepted: November 11, 2016; Published online: January 13, 2017

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