Transcriptomics to Fight Bed Bugs

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are blood-feeding insects poised to become one of the major pests in households throughout the United States. Resistance of C. lectularius to insecticides/pesticides is one factor thought to be involved in its sudden resurgence. Despite its high-impact status, scant knowledge exists at the genomic level for C. lectularius.

Researchers at Ohio State University used 454 pyrosequencing to study the C. lectularius transcriptome in order to identify potential genes involved in pesticide resistance.

KEGG analysis of the C. lectularius sequences revealed putative members of several detoxification pathways involved in pesticide resistance. Lamprin domains, Protein Kinase domains, Protein Tyrosine Kinase domains and cytochrome P450 domains were among the top Pfam domains predicted for the C. lectularius sequences. An initial assessment of putative defense genes, including a cytochrome P450 and a glutathione-S-transferase (GST), revealed high transcript levels for the cytochrome P450 (CYP9) in pesticide-exposed versus pesticide-susceptible C. lectularius populations.

Bai X, Mamidala P, Rajarapu SP, Jones SC, Mittapalli O (2011) Transcriptomics of the Bed Bug (Cimex lectularius). PLoS ONE 6(1): e16336. [article]

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