Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Grand Exhibit Hall (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
The corn planthopper, Peregrinus maidis, causes direct feeding damage to plants and transmits Maize mosaic rhabdovirus (MMV) in a persistent-propagative manner. MMV must cross several insect tissue layers for successful transmission to occur, and the gut serves as an important barrier for rhabdovirus transmission. Characterization of insect molecules that interact directly with viral proteins to mediate internalization and movement of a virus in host tissues or indirectly through various host response pathways is essential for defining the relationship between vector and the virus harbored and transmitted by the vector. As a primary approach to addressing this need, we generated 15,892 unique ESTs (1,860 contigs and 14,032 singletons) from guts dissected from a MMV-infected P. maidis population. Our annotation efforts assigned putative functional roles to 5,793 of the sequences (37%), of which a subset have putative homology to proteins that may play roles in the infection cycle of MMV (e.g., receptors identified for other members of the family Rhabdoviridae) and recognition and response to MMV infection (innate immunity and the virus silencing pathway). ESTs from all six of the MMV genes were found in the insect gut transcriptome and their relative abundance reflected the expression levels documented for other rhabdoviruses. These tools will provide the necessary information to identify differentially-expressed genes in MMV-infected P. maidis guts and for comparative studies of arthropod interactions with rhabdoviruses.