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Whiteflies are Hemipterans that typically feed on the undersides of plant leaves. They cause severe damage by direct feeding as well as transmitting plant viruses to a wide range of plants. However, it remains largely unknown which genes play a key role in development and host selection. In this study, weighted gene co-expression network analysis was applied to construct gene co-expression networks in whitefly. Nineteen gene co-expression modules were detected from 15560 expressed genes of whitefly. Combined with the transcriptome data of salivary glands and midgut, we identified three gene co-expression modules related to host plant selection. These three modules contain genes related to host-plant recognition, such as detoxification genes, chemosensory genes and some salivary gland-associated genes. Results of Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analyses elucidated the following pathways involved in these modules: lysosome, metabolic and detoxification pathways. The modules related to the development contain two co-expression modules; moreover, the genes were annotated to the development of chitin-based cuticle. This analysis provides a basis for future functional analysis of genes involved in host-plant recognition. Copyright © 2021 Tian, Zhan, Dewer, Zhang, Qu, Luo, Li and Yang.


Jiahui Tian, Haixia Zhan, Youssef Dewer, Biyun Zhang, Cheng Qu, Chen Luo, Fengqi Li, Shiyong Yang. Whitefly Network Analysis Reveals Gene Modules Involved in Host Plant Selection, Development and Evolution. Frontiers in physiology. 2021;12:656649

PMID: 33927643

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