Agronomy and Horticulture Department



Blair Siegfried

Date of this Version



Toxins 2017, 9, 124; doi:10.3390/toxins9040124.


This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.


With Next Generation Sequencing technologies, high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNAseq) was conducted to examine gene expression in neonates of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (LeConte) (Western Corn Rootworm, WCR) challenged with individual proteins of the binary Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal proteins, Cry34Ab1 and Cry35Ab1, and the combination of Cry34/Cry35Ab1, which together are active against rootworm larvae. Integrated results of three different statistical comparisons identified 114 and 1300 differentially expressed transcripts (DETs) in the Cry34Ab1 and Cry34/35Ab1 treatment, respectively, as compared to the control. No DETs were identified in the Cry35Ab1 treatment. Putative Bt binding receptors previously identified in other insect species were not identified in DETs in this study. The majority of DETs (75% with Cry34Ab1 and 68.3% with Cry34/35Ab1 treatments) had no significant hits in the NCBI nr database. In addition, 92 DETs were shared between Cry34Ab1 and Cry34/35Ab1 treatments. Further analysis revealed that the most abundant DETs in both Cry34Ab1 and Cry34/35Ab1 treatments were associated with binding and catalytic activity. Results from this study confirmed the nature of these binary toxins against WCR larvae and provide a fundamental profile of expression pattern of genes in response to challenge of the Cry34/35Ab1 toxin, which may provide insight into potential resistance mechanisms.