Sex difference involving chromosomes and gene expression has been extensively documented. In this study, the gender difference in the sweetpotato whitefly Bemisia tabaci was investigated using Illumina-based transcriptomic analysis. Gender-based RNAseq data produced 27 Gb reads, and subsequent de novo assembly generated 93,948 transcripts with a N50 of 1,853 bp. A total of 1,351 differentially expressed genes were identified between male and female B. tabaci, and majority of them were female-biased. Pathway and GO enrichment experiments exhibited a gender-specific expression, including enriched translation in females, and enhanced structural constituent of cuticle in male whiteflies. In addition, a putative transformer2 gene (tra2) was cloned, and the structural feature and expression profile of tra2 were investigated. Sexually dimorphic transcriptome is an uncharted territory for the agricultural insect pests. Molecular understanding of sex determination in B. tabaci, an emerging invasive insect pest worldwide, will provide potential molecular target(s) for genetic pest control alternatives.

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Published in Scientific Reports, v. 4, no. 4088.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/.

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