De novo RNA-Seq and Annotation of Sesquiterpenoid and Ecdysteroid Biosynthesis Genes and MicroRNAs in a Spider Mite Eotetranychus kankitus

J Econ Entomol. 2021 Oct 20;toab166. doi: 10.1093/jee/toab166. Online ahead of print.


Eotetranychus kankitus is an important mite pest in citrus, but molecular data on the developmental processes of E. kankitus are lacking. The different development stages mix of E. kankitus was used to sequence for transcriptome and small RNAs to identify genes and predict miRNAs associated with sesquiterpenoid and ecdysteroid biosynthesis and signaling pathways. More than 36 million clean reads were assembled and 67,927 unigenes were generated. Of the unigenes, 19,300 were successfully annotated through annotation databases NR, SwissProt, COG, GO, KEGG, PFAM, and KOG. The transcripts were involved in sesquiterpenoid biosynthesis (11 genes) and ecdysteroid biosynthesis and signaling pathway (13 genes). Another, small RNA library was obtained and 31 conserved miRNAs were identified. Five most abundant miRNAs were Ek-miR-5735, Ek-miR-1, Ek-miR-263a, Ek-miR-184, and Ek-miR-8. The target genes related to sesquiterpenoid and ecdysteroid showed that 10 of the conserved miRNAs could potentially target the sesquiterpenoid and ecdysteroid pathway according to four-prediction software, sRNAT, miRanda, RNAhybrid, and Risearch2. Thus, the results of this study will provide bioinformatics information for further molecular studies of E. kankitus which may facilitate improved pest control strategies.

Keywords: Eotetranychus kankitus; development; ecdysteroid; miRNA; sesquiterpenoid.