The brown plant hopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens, is one of the major pest of rice (Oryza sativa).

Plant defenses against insect herbivores have been extensively studied, but our understanding of insect responses to host plants' resistance mechanisms is still limited. The purpose of this study is to characterize transcripts of BPH and reveal the responses of BPH insects to resistant rice at transcription level by using the advanced molecular techniques, the next-generation sequencing (NGS) and the single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing.




The current study obtained 24,891 collapsed isoforms of full-length transcripts, and 20,662 were mapped to known annotated genes, including 17,175 novel transcripts. The current study also identified 915 fusion genes, 1794 novel genes, 2435 long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), and 20,356 alternative splicing events. Moreover, analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) revealed that genes involved in metabolic and cell proliferation processes were significantly enriched in up-regulated and down-regulated sets, respectively, in BPH fed on resistant rice relative to BPH fed on susceptible wild type rice. Furthermore, the FoxO signaling pathway was involved and genes related to BPH starvation response (Nlbmm), apoptosis and autophagy (caspase 8, ATG13, BNIP3 and IAP), active oxygen elimination (catalase, MSR, ferritin) and detoxification (GST, CarE) were up-regulated in BPH responses to resistant rice.




The current study provides the first demonstrations of the full diversity and complexity of the BPH transcriptome, and indicates that BPH responses to rice resistance, might be related to starvation stress responses, nutrient transformation, oxidative decomposition, and detoxification. The current result findings will facilitate further exploration of molecular mechanisms of interaction between BPH insects and host rice.





Figure 5: Verification and functional annotation of fusion genes in N. lugens. a, Verification of fusion genes by agarose gel electrophoresis, with structural sketches of the genes to the left (corresponding to loci indicated above the structures). Blue boxes and vertical lines represent exons, while introns are represented by black horizontal lines. Orientations from left to right and vice versa indicate that the transcript is located in positive and negative chains, respectively. Gel brands in the right figure show the PCR products and DNA marker. The length of each fusion transcript is shown after its ID. b, GO classification of fusion genes’ annotation