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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2012 Aug;42(8):557-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2012.04.003. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

The transcriptome of Spodoptera exigua larvae exposed to different types of microbes.

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Instituto de Conservación y Mejora de la Agrodiversidad Valenciana (COMAV), Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Camino de Vera s/n, Valencia, Spain.


We have obtained and characterized the transcriptome of Spodoptera exigua larvae with special emphasis on pathogen-induced genes. In order to obtain a highly representative transcriptome, we have pooled RNA from diverse insect colonies, conditions and tissues. Sequenced cDNA included samples from 3 geographically different colonies. Enrichment of RNA from pathogen-related genes was accomplished by exposing larvae to different pathogenic and non-pathogenic microbial agents such as the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis, Micrococcus luteus, and Escherichia coli, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and the S. exigua nucleopolyhedrovirus (SeMNPV). In addition, to avoid the loss of tissue-specific genes we included cDNA from the midgut, fat body, hemocytes and integument derived from pathogen exposed insects. RNA obtained from the different types of samples was pooled, normalized and sequenced. Analysis of the sequences obtained using the Roche 454 FLX and Sanger methods has allowed the generation of the largest public set of ESTs from S. exigua, including a large group of immune genes, and the identification of an important number of SSR (simple sequence repeats) and SNVs (single nucleotide variants: SNPs and INDELs) with potential use as genetic markers. Moreover, data mining has allowed the discovery of novel RNA viruses with potential influence in the insect population dynamics and the larval interactions with the microbial pesticides that are currently in use for the biological control of this pest.

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