Using RNA interference to reveal the function of chromatin remodeling factor ISWI in temperature tolerance in Bemisia tabaci Middle East-Asia minor 1 cryptic species.
Invasive species often encounter rapid environmental changes during invasions and only the individuals that successfully overcome environmental stresses can colonize and spread. Chromatin remodeling may be essential in environmental adaptation. To assess the functions of imitation switch (ISWI) in invasive Bemisia tabaci Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) cryptic species, we cloned and characterized the MEAM1 BtISWI gene and determined its functions in response to thermal stress. The full-length cDNA of BtISWI was 3712 bp, with a 3068 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a 118.86 kDa protein. BtISWI mRNA expression was significantly up-regulated after exposure to heat shock or cold shock conditions, indicating that BtISWI expression can be induced by thermal stress. After feeding double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), specifically for BtISWI, resistance to both heat and cold decreased significantly, suggesting that BtISWI may function directly in the thermal tolerance of MEAM1. Moreover, the preferred temperature of MEAM1 adults fed dsRNA was 1.9-3.5 °C higher than the control groups. Taken together, our findings highlight the importance of epigenetic gene regulation in the thermal response or thermal adaptation of invasive Bemisia tabaci (B. tabaci), and provide a new potential target for establishing sustainable control strategies for B. tabaci.