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Cucurbita pepo belongs to the Cucurbitaceae, the second-most large horticultural family of economic importance after Solanaceae. One major issue related to zucchini cultivation is the damage caused by aphids such as Aphis gossypii (Homoptera: Aphididae). The aim of this study is the identification of candidate genes involved in zucchini plant response to A. gossypii. In order to monitor the effect of zucchini-aphid interaction at transcriptomic level, zucchini plants (cv “San Pasquale”) were grown in controlled conditions in presence or absence of A. gossypii. Leaf material was collected at 24, 48 and 96 hours after aphid infestation. RNA extracted was sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. The sequencing generated ~34 million of paired-end reads of 100 nucleotides in length per sample. High quality reads were de novo assembled into 71,648 transcripts. About 94% of the assembled transcripts contain coding sequences that could be translated into proteins. Over 60% of the transcripts were functionally annotated and assigned to one or more InterPro domains and Gene Ontology terms. A subset of 42,517 sequences of the C. pepo transcriptome was used for read mapping and differentially expressed genes (DEG) identification. Largest number of DEG were observed after 48 hours from aphid infestation. The transcriptome represents a high-quality reference for read alignment and DEG call. The understanding of the molecular response of infested plants will be essential to develop new tools for A. gossypii control.
This is an abstract of the presentation at the BBCC2015 conference.