By Alexander Stafford , Biological Sciences; Madison M Senna, University of Cincinnati; Kitty MR Perentesis, University of Cincinnati; Matthew T Weirauch, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; Surya Saha, Boyce Thompson Institute; Prashant Hosmani, Boyce Thompson Institute; Lukas A Mueller, Boyce Thompson Institute; Susan Brown, Kansas State University; Joshua Benoit, University of Cincinnati
Advisor: Joshua Benoit
Abstract: One of the most popular morning drinks, orange juice is threatened by a disease called citrus greening (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus). The vector is the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama). The spread of citrus greening is typically reduced by chemical insecticides which have negative environmental impacts since these chemicals can kill other insects beyond the target pest. To make a specialized insecticide and have better understanding of this plant disease vector, we examined the recently updated genome of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). In specific, we improved information on the aquaporins, which are integral membrane proteins primarily responsible for transporting water. We identified at least 8 aquaporin genes with multiple splice variant based on comparison to other insect systems. These characterizations were followed by examining gene expression of each aquaporin based on previously conducted RNA-seq studies. By understanding the ACP genome, we hope to improve understanding on this pest and develop new targets for control.