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Major Breakthroughs Achieved in the Genome Research of the Tea Green Leafhopper

福建农林大学(英文版)   发布时间: 2021-07-16   信息员:

Recently, NCBI assembly and National Genomics Data Center (NGDC) have simultaneously uploaded the first chromosome-level reference genome of the tea green leafhopper, which was completed by Professor You Minsheng’s team at Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU). On the basis of the genome, the team has revealed the adaptation mechanism of tea green leafhoppers to different tea varieties and habitat conditions, and the generation mechanism of drug resistance.

The tea green leafhopper, also known as Empoasca onukii, is one of the most important pests of tea plantations in China. At present, the prevention and control of the pest still relies on the extensive use of chemical insecticides. However, the massive use of chemical insecticides not only reduces the quality of tea leaves and poses a threat to human health, but also causes tea green leafhoppers to develop serious pesticide resistance, resulting in a vicious cycle in which the more pesticides are used, the more pests survive. At the same time, pesticide residues have caused a series of ecological, environmental and social problems, such as contamination of soil and water resources and destruction of biodiversity. The deciphering of the genome of tea green leafhoppers provides a theoretical basis for elucidating the evolutionary history and catastrophic mechanisms of the pest, and is of great significance to green prevention and control of pests, the reduction of pesticide use, and safe production of tea.

The published genomes of tea green leafhopper, with Contig N50 reaching 2.2 Mb and Scaffold N50 reaching 68 Mb, are of the best continuity and integrity of genomes assembly of the hemiptera so far. The researchers further use the Hi-C technique to elevate the genome assembly to the chromosome level. Based on the clustering heat map, the genome can be clearly divided into 10 chromosome groups and there is less noise in areas beyond the diagonal, indicating a better assembly at the chromosome level.

The deciphering of the genome of tea green leafhoppers is important for understanding the geographical origin, evolutionary history and genetic differentiation of this pest, and also provides new research and development ideas and approaches for green prevention and control of pests and safe production of tea.

Ecological Tea Garden of Hongxing Tea Farm, Anxi County, Fujian Province (An adult tea green leafhopper in the upper right corner)


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Correspondant/Photogragher: Research Team of Prof. You Minsheng of College of Life Sciences

Translation: Wang Xian, International College

Chen Xuemin, International College

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