Annotation of chitin biosynthesis genes in Diaphorina citri, the Asian citrus psyllid

GigaByte. 2021 Jun 10:2021:gigabyte23. doi: 10.46471/gigabyte.23. eCollection 2021.


The polysaccharide chitin is critical for the formation of many insect structures, including the exoskeleton, and is required for normal development. Here we report the annotation of three genes from the chitin synthesis pathway in the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae), the vector of Huanglongbing (citrus greening disease). Most insects have two chitin synthase (CHS) genes but, like other hemipterans, D. citri has only one. In contrast, D. citri is unusual among insects in having two UDP-N-acetylglucosamine pyrophosphorylase (UAP) genes. One of the D. citri UAP genes is broadly expressed, while the other is expressed predominantly in males. Our work helps pave the way for potential utilization of these genes as pest control targets to reduce the spread of Huanglongbing.

Grants and funding

This work was supported by USDA-NIFA grant 2015-70016-23028, HSI 1300394, 2020-70029-33199 and an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant number P20GM103418.