Transcriptional analysis of susceptible and resistant European corn borer strains and their response to Cry1F protoxin

Neetha Nanoth Vellichirammal, Haichuan Wang, Seong Il Eyun, Etsuko N. Moriyama, Brad S. Coates, Nicholas J. Miller, Blair D. Siegfried

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Despite a number of recent reports of insect resistance to transgenic crops expressing insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), little is known about the mechanism of resistance to these toxins. The purpose of this study is to identify genes associated with the mechanism of Cry1F toxin resistance in European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner). For this, we compared the global transcriptomic response of laboratory selected resistant and susceptible O. nubilalis strain to Cry1F toxin. We further identified constitutive transcriptional differences between the two strains. Results: An O. nubilalis midgut transcriptome of 36,125 transcripts was assembled de novo from 106 million Illumina HiSeq and Roche 454 reads and used as a reference for estimation of differential gene expression analysis. Evaluation of gene expression profiles of midgut tissues from the Cry1F susceptible and resistant strains after toxin exposure identified a suite of genes that responded to the toxin in the susceptible strain (n = 1,654), but almost 20-fold fewer in the resistant strain (n = 84). A total of 5,455 midgut transcripts showed significant constitutive expression differences between Cry1F susceptible and resistant strains. Transcripts coding for previously identified Cry toxin receptors, cadherin and alkaline phosphatase and proteases were also differentially expressed in the midgut of the susceptible and resistant strains. Conclusions: Our current study provides a valuable resource for further molecular characterization of Bt resistance and insect response to Cry1F toxin in O. nubilalis and other pest species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number558
JournalBMC genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 29 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics


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