Crop Biotech Update

Diamondback Moth Genome Gives New Clues for Sustainable Pest Management

January 16, 2013

An international group of researchers led by Fujian Agriculture, Forestry University (FAFU) and Beijing Genomics Institute has completed the first genome sequence of the diamondback moth (DBM), the most destructive pest of Brassica crops. The DBM has developed resistance against more than 50 insecticides, including DDT, making them ineffective control measures.

The sequencing work yielded ~343 Mb draft genome with 18,071 predicted protein-coding genes. The researchers also identified the genome-wide level of polymorphism within the sequenced DBM strain, which may lay the genetic bases for DBM in adapting to various environmental challenges. They also investigated a set of genes preferentially expressed at the larval stage and found that the co-expression of a couple of genes may be crucial for DBM to become a successful cruciferous herbivore.

Prof. Misheng You, leader of the research team, said that "The completed genome sequencing of DBM will lay a solid foundation for tracking the evolutionary mechanisms of how an insect becomes a successful herbivore that can defense many insecticides."

The complete genome sequence of diamondback moth is publicly available at: http://www.iae.fafu.edu.cn/DBM. The article in Nature Genetics is available at: http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ng.2524.html.