To facilitate gene expression study and obtain accurate qRT-PCR analysis, normalization relative to stable expressed housekeeping genes is required. In this study, expression profiles of 11 candidate reference genes, including actin (Actin), elongation factor 1 α (EF1A), TATA-box-binding protein (TATA), ribosomal protein L12 (RPL12), β-tubulin (Tubulin), NADH dehydrogenase (NADH), vacuolar-type H+-ATPase (v-ATPase), succinate dehydrogenase B (SDHB), 28S ribosomal RNA (28S), 16S ribosomal RNA (16S), and 18S ribosomal RNA (18S) from the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, under different developmental stages and temperature conditions, were investigated. A total of four analytical tools, geNorm, Normfinder, BestKeeper, and the ΔCt method, were used to evaluate the suitability of these genes as endogenous controls. According to RefFinder, a web-based software tool which integrates all four above-mentioned algorithms to compare and rank the reference genes, SDHB, 16S, and NADH were the three most stable house-keeping genes under different developmental stages and temperatures. This work is intended to establish a standardized qRT-PCR protocol in pea aphid and serves as a starting point for the genomics and functional genomics research in this emerging insect model.

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Published in PLOS One, v. 9, no. 11, article e110454, p. 1-10.

© 2014 Yang et al.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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This research was supported by a start-up fund from the University of Kentucky to XGZ, a grant from USDA BRAG grant (Award Agreement No.: 3048108827) to XGZ, and a Special Fund for Agroscience Research in the Public Interest (Award Agreement No.: 201303028) to YL. The granting agencies have no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

journal.pone.0110454.s001.DOCX (14 kB)
Table S1. Summary of mean and SD values of gene pairwise comparison using the ΔCt method for 11 gene candidates.

journal.pone.0110454.s002.DOCX (13 kB)
Table S2. Ranking of 11 reference gene candidates based on BestKeeper.

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