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By Taylor Suydam, Biological Sciences; Jessica Ventura, Biological Sciences ; Marissa Willig, Biological Sciences
Advisor: Joshua Benoit
Presentation ID: PM_ATRIUM16
Abstract: As the vector for Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas, the causative agent of citrus greening), understanding the biology of the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) is critical to the prevention of damage to citrus production. Suppression of this vector has been primarily accomplished by the utilization of chemical insecticides. The genome for this pest has been recently sequenced and provides the opportunity to examine gene families to identify novel control aspects. In this study, we used the Asian citrus psyllid genome, RNA sequence analyses, transcription factor (TF) identification and correction, and TF binding to identify novel biological aspects for D. citri. TF were specifically examined as these proteins act as the regulators for gene expression. Nearly 300 TFs were computationally predicted and corrected by manual curation. Expression of these TFs were examined by RNA-seq analyses of publically available datasets, which included developmental and infection-based studies from D. citri. This study provides valuable information for integrated pest management strategies that could inhibit stable fly infestations by targeting their reproductive biology. NOTE: This is part of a six student project. The other three students participating in the project are Quinton Malone, Rebekah Adams, and Seantel Norman.