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Scientific reports

Secretory laccase 1 in Bemisia tabaci MED is involved in whitefly-plant interaction.


PMID 28620217

Abstract

The whitefly Bemisia tabaci is a phloem-feeding pest that lives predominantly on herbaceous species and causes serious damage to hosts. Whitefly saliva is thought to contain proteins that modulate plant defences and facilitate feeding. A predicted secreted protein, laccase 1 (LAC1), was found in the salivary gland transcriptome of B. tabaci and might be existed in the watery saliva of B. tabaci. As LAC1 has a potential role in detoxification of secondary plant compounds in insects, we speculated that it may participate in the insect's response to plant defences. Here, we cloned the complete cDNA of LAC1 and found that (1) LAC1 was highly expressed in the salivary gland (SG) and midgut; (2) LAC1 transcript level in head (containing SG) was 2.1 times higher in plant-fed than in diet-fed whiteflies and 1.6 times higher in the head and 23.8 times higher in the midgut of whiteflies that fed on jasmonic acid (JA)-sprayed plants than on control plants; and (3) silencing LAC1 decreased the survival rate of plant-fed whiteflies but had a marginal effect on whiteflies raised on an artificial diet. These results indicate that LAC1 enables whiteflies to overcome the chemical defences of host plants and might act as an effector in saliva.

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