Identification of azadirachtin responsive genes in Spodoptera frugiperda larvae based on RNA-seq.
The fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a polyphagous pest with 353 plant species as its hosts, including maize, sorghum, cotton, and rice. Azadirachtin is one of the most effective botanical insecticides. The effect of azadirachtin against S. frugiperda remains to be determined. Here we report strong growth inhibition of azadirachtin on S. frugiperda larvae under either 1.0 or 5.0 μg/g azadirachtin. To explore the relevant mechanisms, the larvae fed with normal artificial diet and with 1.0 μg/g azadirachtin exposure for 3 days were collected as samples for RNA-Seq. RNA-Seq on S. frugiperda larvae under different treatments identified a total of 24,153 unigenes, including 3494 novel genes, were identified. Among them, 1282 genes were affected by 1.0 μg/g azadirachtin exposure, with 672 up-regulated and 610 down-regulated. The impacted genes include 61 coding for detoxification enzymes (31 P450s, 7 GSTs, 11 CarEs, 7 UGTs and 5 ABC transporters), 31 for cuticle proteins, and several proteins involved in insect chitin and hormone biosynthesis. Our results indicated that azadirachtin could regulate the growth of S. frugiperda by affecting insect chitin and hormone biosynthesis pathway. The enhanced expression of detoxification enzymes might be related to detoxifying azadirachtin. These findings provided a foundation for further delineating the molecular mechanism of growth regulation induced by azadirachtin in S. frugiperda larvae.