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Pest Manag Sci. 2019 Nov 12. doi: 10.1002/ps.5680. [Epub ahead of print]

The expression and function of opsin genes related to the phototactic behavior of Asian citrus psyllid.

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College of Agriculture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China.



The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), is a prominent pest of citrus because it transmits Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus associated with huanglongbing. Phototactic behavior ubiquitously exists in insects and plays essential roles in host-searching and mate-searching in ACP. However, its mechanism has remained unclear to date. In this paper, molecular assays were performed to understand the relation between opsins and the phototactic behavior of ACP.


We cloned five opsin genes and analyzed their expression patterns. The main three opsin genes (Dc-UV, Dc-BW and Dc-LW) displayed high expression levels in daytime, and the expression levels of the other two opsin genes (Dc-UV-like and Dc-arthropsin) increased during nighttime. In constant darkness, the expression patterns and levels of opsin genes of ACP were altered. Under starvation, the expression levels of the main three opsins were reduced (53.89-84.10%). In contrast, the expression levels in females increased (27.55-60.58%). Feeding of double-stranded RNA (Dc-UV, Dc-LW or Dc-BW) have reduced the phototactic efficiency of ACP to ultraviolet light (44.79%), green light (54.81%) and blue light (43.00%), respectively.


The results suggest that the expression levels and patterns of opsins of ACP were influenced by photoperiod and the physiological status of ACP. Our research indicates that opsins play crucial roles in phototactic behavior in ACP. © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry.


Asian citrus psyllid (ACP); RNA interference; expression patterns; opsin; phototactic behavior


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