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Ras-like family small GTPases genes in Nilaparvata lugens: Identification, phylogenetic analysis, gene expression and function in nymphal development
Weixia Wang, Kailong Li, Pinjun Wan, Fengxiang Lai, Qiang Fu*, Tingheng Zhu*
PLoS ONE  , 2017, 12(2), e0172701.

Abstract

Twenty-nine cDNAs encoding Ras-like family small GTPases (RSGs) were cloned and sequenced from Nilaparvata lugens. Twenty-eight proteins are described here: 3 from Rho, 2 from Ras, 9 from Arf and 14 from Rabs. These RSGs from N.lugens have five conserved G-loop motifs and displayed a higher degree of sequence conservation with orthologues from insects. RT-qPCR analysis revealed NlRSGs expressed at all life stages and the highest expression was observed in hemolymph, gut or wing for most of NlRSGs. RNAi demonstrated that eighteen NlRSGs play a crucial role in nymphal development. Nymphs with silenced NlRSGs failed to molt, eclosion or development arrest. The qRT-PCR analysis verified the correlation between mortality and the down-regulation of the target genes. The expression level of nuclear receptors, Kr-h1, Hr3, FTZ-F1 and E93 involved in 20E and JH signal pathway was impacted in nymphs with silenced twelve NlRSGs individually. The expression of two halloween genes, Cyp314a1 and Cyp315a1 involved in ecdysone synthesis, decreased in nymphs with silenced NlSar1 or NlArf1. Cyp307a1 increased in nymphs with silenced NlArf6. In N.lugens with silenced NlSRβ, NlSar1 and NlRab2 at 9th day individually, 0.0% eclosion rate and almost 100.0% mortality was demonstrated. Further analysis showed NlSRβ could be served as a candidate target for dsRNA-based pesticides for N.lugens control.