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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2022, Vol. 21 Issue (11): 3278-3292    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.079
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Identification of chorion genes and RNA interference-mediated functional characterization of chorion-1 in Plutella xylostella

DONG Shi-jie1, 2, 3, 4, 5*, LIU Bo6*, ZOU Ming-min1, 2, 3, 4, 5, LIU Li-li1, 2, 3, 4, 5, CAO Min-hui1, 2, 3, 4, 5, HUANG Meng-qi1, 2, 3, 4, 5, LIU Yan1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Liette VASSEUR1, 2, 3, 4, 7, YOU Min-sheng1, 2, 3, 4, 5, PENG Lu1, 2, 3, 4, 5

1State Key Laboratory of Ecological Pest Control for Fujian-Taiwan Crops, Institute of Applied Ecology, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, P.R.China

2International Joint Research Laboratory of Ecological Pest Control, Ministry of Education, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, P.R.China

3Ministerial and Provincial Joint Innovation Centre for Safety Production of Cross-Strait Crops, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, P.R.China

4Key Laboratory of Integrated Pest Management for Fujian-Taiwan Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, Fuzhou 350002, P.R.China

5Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Insect Ecology, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, P.R.China

6Agricultural Genomics Institute at Shenzhen, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shenzhen 518120, P.R.China 

7Department of Biological Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 3A1, Canada

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Choriogenesis is the last step of insect oogenesis, a process by which the chorion polypeptides are produced by the follicular cells and deposited on the surface of oocytes in order to provide a highly specialized protective barrier to the embryo.  The essential features of chorion genes have yet to be clearly understood in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, a worldwide Lepidoptera pest attacking cruciferous crops and wild plants.  In this study, complete sequences for 15 putative chorion genes were identified, and grouped into A and B classes.  Phylogenetic analysis revealed that both classes were highly conserved and within each, branches are also species-specific.  Chorion genes from each class were located in pairs on scaffolds of the Pxylostella genome, some of which shared the common promoter regulatory region.  All chorion genes were highly specifically expressed in the Pxylostella adult females, mostly in the ovary with full yolk, which is a crucial period to build the shells of the eggs.  RNAi-based knockdown of chorion-1, which is located on the Px_scaffold 6 alone, although had no effect on yolk deposition, resulted in smaller eggs and sharply reduced hatchability.  Additionally, inhibition of PxCho-1 expression caused a less dense arrangement of the columnar layers, reduced exochorion roughness and shorter microvilli.  Our study provides the foundation for exploring molecular mechanisms of female reproduction in Pxylostella, and for making use of chorion genes as the potential genetic-based molecular target to better control this economically important pest.

Keywords:  Plutella xylostella        chorion genes       RNAi       oogenesis       pest control  
Received: 17 November 2021   Accepted: 18 April 2022

This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (32172404), the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province, China (2019J01666), the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, China (xjq201903), and the “111” Program - Innovation Center for Ecologically Based Pest Management of Subtropical Crops, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, China.  

About author:  DONG Shi-jie, E-mail:; LIU Bo, E-mail:; Correspondence YOU Min-sheng, E-mail:; PENG Lu, E-mail: * These authors contributed equally to this study.

Cite this article: 

DONG Shi-jie, LIU Bo, ZOU Ming-min, LIU Li-li, CAO Min-hui, HUANG Meng-qi, LIU Yan, Liette VASSEUR, YOU Min-sheng, PENG Lu. 2022. Identification of chorion genes and RNA interference-mediated functional characterization of chorion-1 in Plutella xylostella. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 21(11): 3278-3292.

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