Characterization of Adult Transcriptomes from the Omnivorous Lady Beetle Coleomegilla maculata Fed Pollen or Insect Egg Diet

J Genomics. 2015 Jan 10;3:20-8. doi: 10.7150/jgen.10385. eCollection 2015.


Diet, nutrition, and obesity are important topics of current research. While many insect genome and/or transcriptome models are based on dietary specialists, the lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata, a common New World species, is highly omnivorous. C. maculata feeds on plants, fungi, insects and other arthropods; its diet frequently includes conspecific cannibalism. This study reports and discusses the first nutritionally based C. maculata transcriptomes. These transcriptomes were prepared from highly inbred specimens provided limited diets, after adult eclosion, of either pollen only or eggs of a soft bodied hemipteran insect only. Selected sequences from the transcriptomes were compared to verify basic genetic similarity of the sampled individuals. Differentially expressed genes associated with these diets were identified to aid with studies of omnivore diet and nutrition. Selected transcriptome sequences described herein are filed with the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), GenBank Bioproject PRJNA236444.

Keywords: Coccinellidae; RNA stability; biological control.; digestion; gene expression; insect nutrition; omnivory.