Reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is a reliable technique for quantifying gene expression across various biological processes, of which requires a set of suited reference genes to normalize the expression data. Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), is one of the most extensively used biological control agents in the field to manage arthropod pest species. In this study, expression profiles of 16 housekeeping genes selected from C. maculata were cloned and investigated. The performance of these candidates as endogenous controls under specific experimental conditions was evaluated by dedicated algorithms, including geNorm, Normfinder, BestKeeper, and ΔCt method. In addition, RefFinder, a comprehensive platform integrating all the above-mentioned algorithms, ranked the overall stability of these candidate genes. As a result, various sets of suitable reference genes were recommended specifically for experiments involving different tissues, developmental stages, sex, and C. maculate larvae treated with dietary double stranded RNA. This study represents the critical first step to establish a standardized RT-qPCR protocol for the functional genomics research in a ladybeetle C. maculate. Furthermore, it lays the foundation for conducting ecological risk assessment of RNAi-based gene silencing biotechnologies on non-target organisms; in this case, a key predatory biological control agent.
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This work is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grant under Award Agreement No.: 3048108827, a Special Fund for Agroscience Research in the Public Interest from China under Award Agreement No.: 201303028, and Hunan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China No.: 14JJ6058.
Yang, Chunxiao; Pan, Huipeng; Noland, Jeffrey Edward; Zhang, Deyong; Zhang, Zhanhong; Liu, Yong; and Zhou, Xuguo, "Selection of Reference Genes for RT-qPCR Analysis in a Predatory Biological Control Agent, Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)" (2015). Entomology Faculty Publications. 97.