RNA interference-mediated knockdown of the hydroxyacid-oxoacid transhydrogenase gene decreases thiamethoxam resistance in adults of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci

Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 24;7:41201. doi: 10.1038/srep41201.


Bemisia tabaci has developed a high level of resistance to thiamethoxam, a second generation neonicotinoid insecticide that has been widely used to control this pest. In this study, we investigated whether hydroxyacid-oxoacid transhydrogenase (HOT) is involved in resistance to the neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam in the whitefly. We cloned the full-length gene that encodes HOT in B. tabaci. Its cDNA contains a 1428-bp open reading frame encoding 475 amino acid residues. Then we evaluated the mRNA expression level of HOT in different developmental stages, and found HOT expression was significantly greater in thiamethoxam resistance adults than in thiamethoxam susceptible adults. Subsequently, seven field populations of B. tabaci adults were sampled, the expression of mRNA level of HOT significant positive correlated with thiamethoxam resistance level. At last, we used a modified gene silencing system to knock-down HOT expression in B. tabaci adults. The results showed that the HOT mRNA levels decreased by 57% and thiamethoxam resistance decreased significantly after 2 days of feeding on a diet containing HOT dsRNA. The results indicated that down-regulation of HOT expression decreases thiamethoxam resistance in B. tabaci adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / genetics*
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Hemiptera / enzymology*
  • Hemiptera / growth & development
  • Hemiptera / metabolism*
  • Insect Proteins / genetics*
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism
  • Insecticide Resistance
  • Insecticides / toxicity*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Neonicotinoids / toxicity*
  • Nitro Compounds / toxicity*
  • Oxazines / toxicity*
  • RNA Interference
  • Thiamethoxam
  • Thiazoles / toxicity*


  • Insect Proteins
  • Insecticides
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Neonicotinoids
  • Nitro Compounds
  • Oxazines
  • Thiazoles
  • Thiamethoxam
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases
  • hydroxyacid-oxoacid transhydrogenase