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Proteomics Indicators of the Rapidly Shifting Physiology from Whole Mountain Pine Beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), Adults during Early Host Colonization

We developed proteome profiles for host colonizing mountain pine beetle adults, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Adult insects were fed in pairs on fresh host lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud, phloem tissue. The proteomes of fed individuals were monitored using iTRAQ and compared to those of starved beetles, revealing 757 and 739 expressed...

Disentangling Detoxification: Gene Expression Analysis of Feeding Mountain Pine Beetle Illuminates Molecular-Level Host Chemical Defense Detoxification Mechanisms

The mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae, is a native species of bark beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) that caused unprecedented damage to the pine forests of British Columbia and other parts of western North America and is currently expanding its range into the boreal forests of central and eastern Canada and the USA. We conducted a large-scale gene expression...

Biosynthesis of Sandalwood Oil: Santalum album CYP76F Cytochromes P450 Produce Santalols and Bergamotol

Abstract Sandalwood oil is one of the world’s most highly prized essential oils, appearing in many high-end perfumes and fragrances. Extracted from the mature heartwood of several Santalum species, sandalwood oil is comprised mainly of sesquiterpene olefins and alcohols. Four sesquiterpenols, α-, β-, and epi-β-santalol and α-exo-bergamotol, make up approximately 90% of the oil of...

How the Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) Breached the Canadian Rocky Mountains

The mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins), a major pine forest pest native to western North America, has extended its range north and eastward during an ongoing outbreak. Determining how the MPB has expanded its range to breach putative barriers, whether physical (nonforested prairie and high elevation of the Rocky Mountains) or climatic (extreme continental...

Antennal transcriptome analysis of the chemosensory gene families in the tree killing bark beetles, Ips typographus and Dendroctonus ponderosae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae)

Background The European spruce bark beetle, Ips typographus, and the North American mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), are severe pests of coniferous forests. Both bark beetle species utilize aggregation pheromones to coordinate mass-attacks on host trees, while odorants from host and non-host trees modulate the pheromone...

Transcriptome mining, functional characterization, and phylogeny of a large terpene synthase gene family in spruce (Picea spp.)

Background In conifers, terpene synthases (TPSs) of the gymnosperm-specific TPS-d subfamily form a diverse array of mono-, sesqui-, and diterpenoid compounds, which are components of the oleoresin secretions and volatile emissions. These compounds contribute to defence against herbivores and pathogens and perhaps also protect against abiotic stress. Results The availability of...

Functional genomics of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) midguts and fat bodies

Background The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) is a significant coniferous forest pest in western North America. It relies on aggregation pheromones to colonize hosts. Its three major pheromone components, trans-verbenol, exo-brevicomin, and frontalin, are thought to arise via different metabolic pathways, but the enzymes involved have not been identified or...

Targeted isolation, sequence assembly and characterization of two white spruce (Picea glauca) BAC clones for terpenoid synthase and cytochrome P450 genes involved in conifer defence reveal insights into a conifer genome

Background Conifers are a large group of gymnosperm trees which are separated from the angiosperms by more than 300 million years of independent evolution. Conifer genomes are extremely large and contain considerable amounts of repetitive DNA. Currently, conifer sequence resources exist predominantly as expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and full-length (FL)cDNAs. There is no genome...

Assembling the 20 Gb white spruce (Picea glauca) genome from whole-genome shotgun sequencing data

White spruce (Picea glauca) is a dominant conifer of the boreal forests of North America, and providing genomics resources for this commercially valuable tree will help improve forest management and conservation efforts. Sequencing and assembling the large and highly repetitive spruce genome though pushes the boundaries of the current technology. Here, we describe a whole-genome...

Transcriptome resources and functional characterization of monoterpene synthases for two host species of the mountain pine beetle, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana)

Background The mountain pine beetle (MPB, Dendroctonus ponderosae) epidemic has affected lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) across an area of more than 18 million hectares of pine forests in western Canada, and is a threat to the boreal jack pine (Pinus banksiana) forest. Defence of pines against MPB and associated fungal pathogens, as well as other pests, involves oleoresin...

Draft genome of the mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, a major forest pest

Background The mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, is the most serious insect pest of western North American pine forests. A recent outbreak destroyed more than 15 million hectares of pine forests, with major environmental effects on forest health, and economic effects on the forest industry. The outbreak has in part been driven by climate change, and will...

Gene discovery for the bark beetle-vectored fungal tree pathogen Grosmannia clavigera

Background Grosmannia clavigera is a bark beetle-vectored fungal pathogen of pines that causes wood discoloration and may kill trees by disrupting nutrient and water transport. Trees respond to attacks from beetles and associated fungi by releasing terpenoid and phenolic defense compounds. It is unclear which genes are important for G. clavigera's ability to overcome antifungal...