Project description:Butterflies and moths are emerging as model organisms in genetics and evolutionary studies. The family Hesperiidae (skippers) was traditionally viewed as a sister to other butterflies based on its moth-like morphology and darting flight habits with fast wing beats. However, DNA studies suggest that the family Papilionidae (swallowtails) may be the sister to other butterflies including skippers. The moth-like features and the controversial position of skippers in Lepidoptera phylogeny make them valuable targets for comparative genomics.We obtained the 310 Mb draft genome of the Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius) from a wild-caught specimen using a cost-effective strategy that overcomes the high (1.6 %) heterozygosity problem. Comparative analysis of Lerema accius and the highly heterozygous genome of Papilio glaucus revealed differences in patterns of SNP distribution, but similarities in functions of genes that are enriched in non-synonymous SNPs. Comparison of Lepidoptera genomes revealed possible molecular bases for unique traits of skippers: a duplication of electron transport chain components could result in efficient energy supply for their rapid flight; a diversified family of predicted cellulases might allow them to feed on cellulose-enriched grasses; an expansion of pheromone-binding proteins and enzymes for pheromone synthesis implies a more efficient mate-recognition system, which compensates for the lack of clear visual cues due to the similarities in wing colors and patterns of many species of skippers. Phylogenetic analysis of several Lepidoptera genomes suggested that the position of Hesperiidae remains uncertain as the tree topology varied depending on the evolutionary model.Completion of the first genome from the family Hesperiidae allowed comparative analyses with other Lepidoptera that revealed potential genetic bases for the unique phenotypic traits of skippers. This work lays the foundation for future experimental studies of skippers and provides a rich dataset for comparative genomics and phylogenetic studies of Lepidoptera.
Project description:Moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) usually have a pair of differentiated WZ sex chromosomes. However, in most lineages outside of the division Ditrysia, as well as in the sister order Trichoptera, females lack a W chromosome. The W is therefore thought to have been acquired secondarily. Here we compare the genomes of three Lepidoptera species (one Dytrisia and two non-Dytrisia) to test three models accounting for the origin of the W: (1) a Z-autosome fusion; (2) a sex chromosome turnover; and (3) a non-canonical mechanism (e.g., through the recruitment of a B chromosome). We show that the gene content of the Z is highly conserved across Lepidoptera (rejecting a sex chromosome turnover) and that very few genes moved onto the Z in the common ancestor of the Ditrysia (arguing against a Z-autosome fusion). Our comparative genomics analysis therefore supports the secondary acquisition of the Lepidoptera W by a non-canonical mechanism, and it confirms the extreme stability of well-differentiated sex chromosomes.
Project description:Comparison of complete genomes of closely related species enables research on speciation and how phenotype is determined by genotype. Lepidoptera, an insect order of 150,000 species with diverse phenotypes, is well-suited for such comparative genomics studies if new genomes, which cover additional Lepidoptera families are acquired. We report a 729?Mbp genome assembly of the Calycopis cecrops, the first genome from the family Lycaenidae and the largest available Lepidoptera genome. As detritivore, Calycopis shows expansion in detoxification and digestion enzymes. We further obtained complete genomes of 8 Calycopis specimens: 3 C. cecrops and 5 C. isobeon, including a dry specimen stored in the museum for 30?years. The two species differ subtly in phenotype and cannot be differentiated by mitochondrial DNA. However, nuclear genomes revealed a deep split between them. Genes that can clearly separate the two species (speciation hotspots) mostly pertain to circadian clock, mating behavior, transcription regulation, development and cytoskeleton. The speciation hotspots and their function significantly overlap with those we previously found in Pterourus, suggesting common speciation mechanisms in these butterflies.
Project description:Rapid evolution is a hallmark of reproductive genetic systems and arises through the combined processes of sequence divergence, gene gain and loss, and changes in gene and protein expression. While studies aiming to disentangle the molecular ramifications of these processes are progressing, we still know little about the genetic basis of evolutionary transitions in reproductive systems. Here we conduct the first comparative analysis of sperm proteomes in Lepidoptera, a group that exhibits dichotomous spermatogenesis, in which males produce a functional fertilization-competent sperm (eupyrene) and an incompetent sperm morph lacking nuclear DNA (apyrene). Through the integrated application of evolutionary proteomics and genomics, we characterize the genomic patterns potentially associated with the origination and evolution of this unique spermatogenic process and assess the importance of genetic novelty in Lepidopteran sperm biology.Comparison of the newly characterized Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) sperm proteome to those of the Carolina sphinx moth (Manduca sexta) and the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) demonstrated conservation at the level of protein abundance and post-translational modification within Lepidoptera. In contrast, comparative genomic analyses across insects reveals significant divergence at two levels that differentiate the genetic architecture of sperm in Lepidoptera from other insects. First, a significant reduction in orthology among Monarch sperm genes relative to the remainder of the genome in non-Lepidopteran insect species was observed. Second, a substantial number of sperm proteins were found to be specific to Lepidoptera, in that they lack detectable homology to the genomes of more distantly related insects. Lastly, the functional importance of Lepidoptera specific sperm proteins is broadly supported by their increased abundance relative to proteins conserved across insects.Our results identify a burst of genetic novelty amongst sperm proteins that may be associated with the origin of heteromorphic spermatogenesis in ancestral Lepidoptera and/or the subsequent evolution of this system. This pattern of genomic diversification is distinct from the remainder of the genome and thus suggests that this transition has had a marked impact on lepidopteran genome evolution. The identification of abundant sperm proteins unique to Lepidoptera, including proteins distinct between specific lineages, will accelerate future functional studies aiming to understand the developmental origin of dichotomous spermatogenesis and the functional diversification of the fertilization incompetent apyrene sperm morph.
Project description:The establishment of a complete genomic sequence of silkworm, the model species of Lepidoptera, laid a foundation for its functional genomics. A more complete annotation of the genome will benefit functional and comparative studies and accelerate extensive industrial applications for this insect. To realize these goals, we embarked upon a large-scale full-length cDNA collection from 21 full-length cDNA libraries derived from 14 tissues of the domesticated silkworm and performed full sequencing by primer walking for 11,104 full-length cDNAs. The large average intron size was 1904 bp, resulting from a high accumulation of transposons. Using gene models predicted by GLEAN and published mRNAs, we identified 16,823 gene loci on the silkworm genome assembly. Orthology analysis of 153 species, including 11 insects, revealed that among three Lepidoptera including Monarch and Heliconius butterflies, the 403 largest silkworm-specific genes were composed mainly of protective immunity, hormone-related, and characteristic structural proteins. Analysis of testis-/ovary-specific genes revealed distinctive features of sexual dimorphism, including depletion of ovary-specific genes on the Z chromosome in contrast to an enrichment of testis-specific genes. More than 40% of genes expressed in specific tissues mapped in tissue-specific chromosomal clusters. The newly obtained FL-cDNA sequences enabled us to annotate the genome of this lepidopteran model insect more accurately, enhancing genomic and functional studies of Lepidoptera and comparative analyses with other insect orders, and yielding new insights into the evolution and organization of lepidopteran-specific genes.
Project description:Lepidoptera, butterflies and moths, is the second largest animal order and includes numerous agricultural pests. To facilitate comparative genomics in Lepidoptera, we isolated BAC clones containing conserved and putative single-copy genes from libraries of three pests, Heliothis virescens, Ostrinia nubilalis, and Plutella xylostella, harboring the haploid chromosome number, n = 31, which are not closely related with each other or with the silkworm, Bombyx mori, (n = 28), the sequenced model lepidopteran. A total of 108-184 clones representing 101-182 conserved genes were isolated for each species. For 79 genes, clones were isolated from more than two species, which will be useful as common markers for analysis using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), as well as for comparison of genome sequence among multiple species. The PCR-based clone isolation method presented here is applicable to species which lack a sequenced genome but have a significant collection of cDNA or EST sequences.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Knowledge of animal mitochondrial genomes is very important to understand their molecular evolution as well as for phylogenetic and population genetic studies. The Lepidoptera encompasses more than 160,000 described species and is one of the largest insect orders. To date only nine lepidopteran mitochondrial DNAs have been fully and two others partly sequenced. Furthermore the taxon sampling is very scant. Thus advance of lepidopteran mitogenomics deeply requires new genomes derived from a broad taxon sampling. In present work we describe the mitochondrial genome of the moth Ochrogaster lunifer. RESULTS: The mitochondrial genome of O. lunifer is a circular molecule 15593 bp long. It includes the entire set of 37 genes usually present in animal mitochondrial genomes. It contains also 7 intergenic spacers. The gene order of the newly sequenced genome is that typical for Lepidoptera and differs from the insect ancestral type for the placement of trnM. The 77.84% A+T content of its alpha strand is the lowest among known lepidopteran genomes. The mitochondrial genome of O. lunifer exhibits one of the most marked C-skew among available insect Pterygota genomes. The protein-coding genes have typical mitochondrial start codons except for cox1 that present an unusual CGA. The O. lunifer genome exhibits the less biased synonymous codon usage among lepidopterans. Comparative genomics analysis study identified atp6, cox1, cox2 as cox3, cob, nad1, nad2, nad4, and nad5 as potential markers for population genetics/phylogenetics studies. A peculiar feature of O. lunifer mitochondrial genome it that the intergenic spacers are mostly made by repetitive sequences. CONCLUSION: The mitochondrial genome of O. lunifer is the first representative of superfamily Noctuoidea that account for about 40% of all described Lepidoptera. New genome shares many features with other known lepidopteran genomes. It differs however for its low A+T content and marked C-skew. Compared to other lepidopteran genomes it is less biased in synonymous codon usage. Comparative evolutionary analysis of lepidopteran mitochondrial genomes allowed the identification of previously neglected coding genes as potential phylogenetic markers. Presence of repetitive elements in intergenic spacers of O. lunifer genome supports the role of DNA slippage as possible mechanism to produce spacers during replication.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Genome sequencing projects have been completed for several species representing four highly diverged holometabolous insect orders, Diptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, and Lepidoptera. The striking evolutionary diversity of insects argues a need for efficient methods to apply genome information from such models to genetically uncharacterized species. Constructing conserved synteny maps plays a crucial role in this task. Here, we demonstrate the use of fluorescence in situ hybridization with bacterial artificial chromosome probes as a powerful tool for physical mapping of genes and comparative genome analysis in Lepidoptera, which have numerous and morphologically uniform holokinetic chromosomes.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We isolated 214 clones containing 159 orthologs of well conserved single-copy genes of a sequenced lepidopteran model, the silkworm, Bombyx mori, from a BAC library of a sphingid with an unexplored genome, the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. We then constructed a BAC-FISH karyotype identifying all 28 chromosomes of M. sexta by mapping 124 loci using the corresponding BAC clones. BAC probes from three M. sexta chromosomes also generated clear signals on the corresponding chromosomes of the convolvulus hawk moth, Agrius convolvuli, which belongs to the same subfamily, Sphinginae, as M. sexta.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>Comparison of the M. sexta BAC physical map with the linkage map and genome sequence of B. mori pointed to extensive conserved synteny including conserved gene order in most chromosomes. Only a few rearrangements, including three inversions, three translocations, and two fission/fusion events were estimated to have occurred after the divergence of Bombycidae and Sphingidae. These results add to accumulating evidence for the stability of lepidopteran genomes. Generating signals on A. convolvuli chromosomes using heterologous M. sexta probes demonstrated that BAC-FISH with orthologous sequences can be used for karyotyping a wide range of related and genetically uncharacterized species, significantly extending the ability to develop synteny maps for comparative and functional genomics.
Project description:The masked birch caterpillar, <i>Drepana arcuata</i> Walker (Lepidoptera: Drepanidae), and other Drepanoidea (Lepidoptera) species are excellent organisms for investigating the function and evolution of vibratory communication and sociality in caterpillars. We present a <i>de novo</i> assembled draft genome and functional annotation for <i>D. arcuata</i>, using a combination of short and long sequencing reads generated by Illumina HiSeq X and Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) MinION sequencing platforms, respectively. A total of 460,694,612 150bp paired-end Illumina and 395,890 ONT raw reads were assembled into 11,493 scaffolds spanning a genome size of 270.5Mb. The resulting <i>D. arcuata</i> genome has a GC content of 38.79%, repeat content of 8.26%, is 86.5% complete based on Benchmarking Universal Single-Copy Orthologs (BUSCO) assessment, and comprises 10,398 predicted protein-coding genes. These data represent the first genomic resources for the lepidopteran superfamily Drepanoidea. Although the order Lepidoptera comprises numerous ecologically and economically important species, assembled genomes and annotations are available for < 1% of the total species. These data can be further utilized for research on Lepidoptera genomics as well as on the function and evolution of vibratory communication and sociality in larval insects.
Project description:<i>Orthaga achatina</i> Butler is an important pest of camphor trees in Asia. The complete mitochondrial genome of <i>O. achatina</i> was sequenced in this study, which was 15,150 bp in size and comprised of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, and a control region. Besides, we used a phylogenomic approach to infer evolutionary relationships of <i>O. achatina</i> and 23 Lepidoptera species based on 13 conserved protein sequences of the mitochondrial genome. Our results underline the potential importance of mitochondrial genomes in comparative genomic analyses of Lepidoptera species and provide a robust evolutionary insight across the tree of Lepidoptera insects.