Transcriptome immune analysis of the invasive beetle Octodonta nipae (Maulik) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) parasitized by Tetrastichus brontispae Ferrière (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae).
The beetle Octodonta nipae (Maulik) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) is a serious invasive insect pest of palm plants in southern China, and the endoparasitoid Tetrastichus brontispae Ferrière (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) is a natural enemy of this pest that exhibits great ability in the biocontrol of O. nipae. For successful parasitism, endoparasitoids often introduce or secrete various virulence factors to suppress host immunity. To investigate the effects of parasitization by T. brontispae on the O. nipae immune system, the transcriptome of O. nipae pupae was analyzed with a focus on immune-related genes through Illumina sequencing. De novo assembly generated 49,919 unigenes with a mean length of 598 bp. Of these genes, 27,490 unigenes (55.1% of all unigenes) exhibited clear homology to known genes in the NCBI nr database. Parasitization had significant effects on the transcriptome profile of O. nipae pupae, and most of these differentially expressed genes were down-regulated. Importantly, the expression profiles of immune-related genes were significantly regulated after parasitization. Taken together, these transcriptome sequencing efforts shed valuable light on the host (O. nipae) manipulation mechanisms induced by T. brontispae, which will pave the way for the development of novel immune defense-based management strategies of O. nipae, and provide a springboard for further molecular analyses, particularly of O. nipae invasion.