Thermal discrimination and transgenerational temperature response in Bemisia tabaci Mediterranean (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae): putative involvement of the thermo-sensitive receptor BtTRPA.
Anthropogenic climate change and global warming are expected to alter the geographic distribution and abundance of many ectothermic species, which will increase the invasion of new areas by exotic species. To survive in variable or fluctuating temperature conditions, insects require sensitive thermal sensory mechanisms to detect external thermal stimuli and induce the appropriate behavioral and physiological responses. TRPA, a thermal-activated transient receptor potential (TRP) family ion channel, is essential for thermotaxis in insects. Here, we investigated the potential role of BtTRPA in short-term and long-term thermal stress in Bemisia tabaci Mediterranean (Gennadius; Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). We found that BtTRPA was mainly expressed in the head, where the antennae are located. Under short-term thermal stress, the BtTRPA gene was robustly expressed after exposure to acute low or high temperatures, BtTRPA expression reached the highest levels after exposure to 0°C for 3 h and 40°C for 5 h, but was relatively low after exposure to milder stimuli (12 and 35°C). These results demonstrated that BtTRPA could discriminate between innocuous and noxious temperature stimuli. Under long-term thermal stress, the highest expression level of BtTRPA occurred at G1 exposed to mild innocuous temperature of 21 and 31°C, along with BtTRPA sharply increased and peaked in adult females, implying that mild innocuous long-term thermal exposure could cause transgenerational expression effects to enhance the ability of offspring to cope with the same stress. This study demonstrates that the channel BtTRPA is important in temperature sensing and provides a molecular basis for thermosensation regulation in response to varied environmental temperature in B. tabaci Mediterranean.