Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Transcriptomics and metagenomics of common cutworm (Spodoptera litura) and fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) demonstrate differences in detoxification and development.

Abstract

Background: Spodoptera litura is an important polyphagous pest that causes significant damage to the agricultural sector. We performed RNA-seq of 15 S. litura individuals from larval (fifth and sixth instar larvae), chrysalis, and adult developmental stages. We also compared the S. litura transcriptome data with Spodoptera frugiperda across the same developmental stages, which was sequenced in our previous study. Results: A total of 101,885 differentially expressed transcripts (DETs) were identified in S. litura. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analyses indicated that S. litura may undergo active xenobiotic and detoxifying metabolism during its larval and adult stages, which may explain difficulties with current population control measures. We also found that DETs of single-copy orthologous genes between S. litura and S. frugiperda were involved in basic metabolism and development. However, energy and metabolic processes genes had a higher expression in S. litura, whereas nervous and olfactory function genes had a higher expression in S. frugiperda. Metagenomics analysis in larval S. litura and S. frugiperda revealed that microbiota participate in the detoxification and metabolism processes, but the relative abundance of detoxification-related microbiota was more abundant in S. frugiperda. Transcriptome results also confirmed the detoxification-related pathway of S. frugiperda was more abundant than in S. litura. Conclusions: Significant changes at transcriptional level were identified during the different development stages of S. litura. Importantly, we also identified detoxification associated genes and gut microbiota between S. litura and S. frugiperda at different developmental stages, which will be valuable in revealing possible mechanisms of detoxification and development in these two lepidopterans.