Transcriptome survey of Neotropical Stink Bugs

Olfaction plays a fundamental role in insect survival through resource location and intra and interspecific communications. We used RNA-Seq to analyze transcriptomes for odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) from major stink bug pest species in Brazil, Euschistus heros, Chinavia ubica, and Dichelops melacanthus, and from their egg parasitoid, Telenomus podisi. We identified 23 OBPs in E. heros, 25 OBPs in C. ubica, 9 OBPs in D. melacanthus, and 7 OBPs in T. podisi. The deduced amino acid sequences of the full-length OBPs had low intraspecific similarity, but very high similarity between two pairs of OBPs from E. heros and C. ubica (76.4 and 84.0%) and between two pairs of OBPs from the parasitoid and its preferred host E. heros (82.4 and 88.5%), confirmed by a high similarity of their predicted tertiary structures. The similar pairs of OBPs from E. heros and C. ubica may suggest that they have derived from a common ancestor, and retain the same biological function to bind a ligand perceived or produced in both species. The T. podisi OBPs similar to E. heros were not orthologous to any known hymenopteran OBPs, and may have evolved independently and converged to the host OBPs, providing a possible basis for the host location of T. podisi using E. heros semiochemical cues.