By Hunter Meece, Biological Sciences
Advisor: Joshua Benoit
Abstract: Candidatus Liberacter asiaticus (CLas) is the microbial agents of Citrus greening disease. CLas is vectored by a crop pest, Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama). Genomic sequencing has previously proven a successful pathway to the development of novel targets for pestiferous insect control. Beginning with the sequenced Asian citrus psyllid genome, this study will identify putative genes related to sleep through comparative analysis with other insects systems. Expression patterns of these genes will be determined based on RNA sequence analyses. A collection of 393 putative genes were identified that may be involved in sleep-like states for D. citri. Developing a novel mode of control requires the organization and analyses of genes, gene expression and protein expression levels, which we have now conducted for putative sleep associated factor for D. citri.