Open Access Research article

Annotated ESTs from various tissues of the brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens: A genomic resource for studying agricultural pests

Hiroaki Noda1*, Sawako Kawai1, Yoko Koizumi1, Kageaki Matsui13, Qiang Zhang1, Shigetoyo Furukawa2, Michihiko Shimomura2 and Kazuei Mita1

Author Affiliations

1 National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Owashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8634, Japan

2 Mitsubishi Space Software Co. Ltd, Takezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0032, Japan

3 Magnabeat Inc., Goi-kaigan, Ichihara, Chiba 209-8551, Japan

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:117  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-117

Published: 3 March 2008



The brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens (Hemiptera, Delphacidae), is a serious insect pests of rice plants. Major means of BPH control are application of agricultural chemicals and cultivation of BPH resistant rice varieties. Nevertheless, BPH strains that are resistant to agricultural chemicals have developed, and BPH strains have appeared that are virulent against the resistant rice varieties. Expressed sequence tag (EST) analysis and related applications are useful to elucidate the mechanisms of resistance and virulence and to reveal physiological aspects of this non-model insect, with its poorly understood genetic background.


More than 37,000 high-quality ESTs, excluding sequences of mitochondrial genome, microbial genomes, and rDNA, have been produced from 18 libraries of various BPH tissues and stages. About 10,200 clusters have been made from whole EST sequences, with average EST size of 627 bp. Among the top ten most abundantly expressed genes, three are unique and show no homology in BLAST searches. The actin gene was highly expressed in BPH, especially in the thorax. Tissue-specifically expressed genes were extracted based on the expression frequency among the libraries. An EST database is available at our web site.


The EST library will provide useful information for transcriptional analyses, proteomic analyses, and gene functional analyses of BPH. Moreover, specific genes for hemimetabolous insects will be identified. The microarray fabricated based on the EST information will be useful for finding genes related to agricultural and biological problems related to this pest.