Journal article

Genome assembly of the ragweed leaf beetle, a step forward to better predict rapid evolution of a weed biocontrol agent to environmental novelties

  • Bouchemousse, Sarah Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Falquet, Laurent Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland - Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Müller-Schärer, Heinz Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Published in:
  • Genome Biology and Evolution. - 2020, vol. 12, no. 7, p. 1167–1173
English Rapid evolution of weed biological control agents (BCAs) to new biotic and abiotic conditions is poorly understood and so far only little considered both in pre-release and post-release studies, despite potential major negative or positive implications for risks of nontargeted attacks or for colonizing yet unsuitable habitats, respectively. Provision of genetic resources, such as assembled and annotated genomes, is essential to assess potential adaptive processes by identifying underlying genetic mechanisms. Here, we provide the first sequenced genome of a phytophagous insect used as a BCA, that is, the leaf beetle Ophraella communa, a promising BCA of common ragweed, recently and accidentally introduced into Europe. A total 33.98 Gb of raw DNA sequences, representing ∼43-fold coverage, were obtained using the PacBio SMRT-Cell sequencing approach. Among the five different assemblers tested, the SMARTdenovo assembly displaying the best scores was then corrected with Illumina short reads. A final genome of 774 Mb containing 7,003 scaffolds was obtained. The reliability of the final assembly was then assessed by benchmarking universal single-copy orthologous genes (>96.0% of the 1,658 expected insect genes) and by remapping tests of Illumina short reads (average of 98.6 ± 0.7% without filtering). The number of protein-coding genes of 75,642, representing 82% of the published antennal transcriptome, and the phylogenetic analyses based on 825 orthologous genes placing O. communa in the monophyletic group of Chrysomelidae, confirm the relevance of our genome assembly. Overall, the genome provides a valuable resource for studying potential risks and benefits of this BCA facing environmental novelties.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Biologie
  • English
Biological sciences
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