Generalist insect can utilize two different modes for regulating their detoxification genes, the constitutive mode and the induced mode. Here, we used the Bemisia tabaci sibling species MEAM1 and MED, as a model system for studying constitutive and induced detoxification resistance and their associated tradeoffs. B. tabaci adults were allowed to feed through membranes for 24 h on diet containing only sucrose or sucrose with various phytotoxins. Quantitative real-time PCR analyses of 18 detoxification genes, indicated that relatively few transcripts were changed in both the MEAM1 and MED species, in response to the addition of phytotoxins to the diet. Induced transcription of detoxification genes only in the MED species, in response to the presence of indole-3-carbinol in the insect's diet, was correlated with maintenance of reproductive performance in comparison to significant reduction in performance of the MEAM1 species. Three genes, COE2, CYP6-like 5 and BtGST2, responded to more than one compound and were highly transcribed in the insect gut. Furthermore, functional assays showed that the BtGST2 gene encodes a protein capable of interacting with both flavonoids and glucosinolates. In conclusion, several detoxification genes were identified that could potentially be involved in the adaptation of B. tabaci to its host plants.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation grants 848/08 and 1039/12 to SM.