Entomology, Department of


Date of this Version



Pan H, Yang X, Siegfried BD, Zhou X (2015) A Comprehensive Selection of Reference Genes for RT-qPCR Analysis in a Predatory Lady Beetle, Hippodamia convergens (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). PLoS ONE 10(4): e0125868. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0125868


© 2015 Pan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. Used by permission.


Reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is a reliable, rapid, and reproducible technique for measuring and evaluating changes in gene expression. To facilitate gene expression studies and obtain more accurate RT-qPCR data, normalization relative to stable reference genes is required. In this study, expression profiles of seven candidate reference genes, including β-actin (Actin), elongation factor 1 α (EF1A), glyceralde hyde-3-phosphate dehydro-genase (GAPDH), cyclophilins A (CypA), vacuolartype H+-ATPase (ATPase), 28S ribosomal RNA (28S), and 18S ribosomal RNA (18S) from Hippodamia convergens were investigated. H. convergens is an abundant predatory species in the New World, and has been widely used as a biological control agent against sapsucking insect pests, primarily aphids. A total of four analytical methods, geNorm, Normfinder, BestKeeper, and the ΔCt method, were employed to evaluate the performance of these seven genes as endogenous controls under diverse experimental conditions. Additionally, RefFinder, a comprehensive evaluation platform integrating the four above mentioned algorithms, ranked the overall stability of these candidate genes. A suite of reference genes were specifically recommended for each experimental condition. Among them, 28S, EF1A, and CypA were the best reference genes across different development stages; GAPDH, 28S, and CypA were most stable in different tissues. GAPDH and CypA were most stable in female and male adults and photoperiod conditions, 28S and EF1A were most stable under a range of temperatures, Actin and CypA were most stable under dietary RNAi condition. This work establishes a standardized RT-qPCR analysis in H. convergens. Additionally, this study lays a foundation for functional genomics research in H. convergens and sheds light on the ecological risk assessment of RNAi-based biopesticides on this non-target biological control agent.