Antennal transcriptome analysis and comparison of olfactory genes in two sympatric defoliators, Dendrolimus houi and Dendrolimus kikuchii (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae).
The Yunnan pine and Simao pine caterpillar moths, Dendrolimus houi Lajonquière and Dendrolimus kikuchii Matsumura (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae), are two closely related and sympatric pests of coniferous forests in southwestern China, and olfactory communication systems of these two insects have received considerable attention because of their economic importance. However, there is little information on the molecular aspect of odor detection about these insects. Furthermore, although lepidopteran species have been widely used in studies of insect olfaction, few work made comparison between sister moths on the olfactory recognition mechanisms. In this study, next-generation sequencing of the antennal transcriptome of these two moths were performed to identify the major olfactory genes. After comparing the antennal transcriptome of these two moths, we found that they exhibit highly similar transcripts-associated GO terms. Chemosensory gene families were further analyzed in both species. We identified 23 putative odorant binding proteins (OBP), 17 chemosensory proteins (CSP), two sensory neuron membrane proteins (SNMP), 33 odorant receptors (OR), and 10 ionotropic receptors (IR) in D. houi; and 27 putative OBPs, 17 CSPs, two SNMPs, 33 ORs, and nine IRs in D. kikuchii. All these transcripts were full-length or almost full-length. The predicted protein sequences were compared with orthologs in other species of Lepidoptera and model insects, including Bombyx mori, Manduca sexta, Heliothis virescens, Danaus plexippus, Sesamia inferens, Cydia pomonella, and Drosophila melanogaster. The sequence homologies of the orthologous genes in D. houi and D. kikuchii are very high. Furthermore, the olfactory genes were classed according to their expression level, and the highly expressed genes are our target for further function investigation. Interestingly, many highly expressed genes are ortholog gene of D. houi and D. kikuchii. We also found that the Classic OBPs were further separated into three groups according to their motifs, which will help future functional researches. Surprisingly, no pheromone receptor was identified in the two Dendrolimus species, which may indicate a special pheromone identification mechanism in Dendrolimus. Our work allows for further functional studies of pheromones and host volatile recognition genes, and give novel candidate targets for pest management.