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The genome of diamondback moth provides new clues for sustainable pest management
Date:1/13/2013

January 13, 2013, Fujian and Shenzhen, China- An international research consortium, led by Fujian Agriculture, Forestry University (FAFU) and BGI, has completed the first genome sequence of the diamondback moth (DBM), the most destructive pest of brassica crops. This work provides wider insights into insect adaptation to host plant and opens new ways for more sustainable pest management. The latest study was published online today in Nature Genetics.

The diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) preferentially feeds on economically important food crops such as rapeseed, cauliflower and cabbage. It has developed resistance to against more than 50 insecticides, including DDT, Bt toxins, among others, making the use of chemicals as a control measurement become ineffective. It is estimated that the total cost associated with the damage and management is US$4-5 billion per year worldwide.

"The completed genome sequencing of DBM will lay a solid foundation for tracking the evolutionary mechanisms of how an insect evolves to become a successful herbivore that can defense many insecticides." said Professor Minsheng You, Vice President of FAFU and leader of the research team. "The work here also provides an invaluable resource for scientists to better understand the reasons why DBM is such a serious pest and how new strategies can be developed to control insect pests."

In this study, researchers sequenced the genome of DBM by whole genome shotgun (WGS) and fosmid clones technologies, yielding ~343 Mb draft genome with 18,071 predicted protein-coding genes. Compared with other sequenced insect species, they found that the diamondback moth possesses a relatively larger set of genes and a moderate number of gene families, suggesting the expansion of certain gene families. Additionally, the genome-based phylogeny demonstrated that DBM was a basal lepidopteran species, which is well supported by its modal karyotype.

Based on the genomic da
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Contact: Jia Liu
liujia@genomics.cn
BGI Shenzhen
Source:Eurekalert

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