Quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction is widely used for gene expression analysis, and robust normalization against stably expressed endogenous reference genes (ERGs) is necessary to obtain accurate results. In this study, the stability of nine housekeeping genes of the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Mediterranean were evaluated in various conditions by quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction using geNorm and Normfinder programs. Both programs suggested α-tubulin/ubiquitin and 18S small subunit ribosomal RNA the most stable genes for bacterium- and insecticide-treated whiteflies, respectively. For developmental stages, organs, and the samples including salivary glands and the whole body, transcription initiation factor TFIID subunit was calculated as the most stably expressed gene by both programs. In addition, we compared the RNA-seq data with the results of geNorm and Normfinder and found that the stable genes revealed by RNA-seq analysis were also the ERGs recommended by geNorm and Normfinder. Furthermore, the use of the most stable gene suggested by RNA-seq analysis as an ERG produced similar gene expression patterns compared with results generated from the normalization against the most stable gene selected by geNorm and Normfinder and multiple genes recommended by geNorm. It indicates that RNA-seq data are reliable and provide a great source for ERG candidate exploration. Our results benefit future research on gene expression profiles of whiteflies and possibly other organisms.
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Vol. 106 • No. 3