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Functional insights from the GC-poor genomes of two aphid parasitoids, "Aphidius ervi" and "Lysiphlebus fabarum"

Alice Dennis 1, * Gabriel Ballesteros 2 Stéphanie Robin 3, 4 Lukas Schrader 5 Jens Bast 6 Jan Berghöfer 5 Leo Beukeboom 7 Maya Belghazi 8 Anthony Bretaudeau 3 Jan Buellesbach 5 Elizabeth Cash 9 Dominique Colinet 10 Zoé Dumas 6 Mohammed Errbii 5 Patrizia Falabella 11, 4 Jean-Luc Gatti 10 Elzemiek Geuverink 7 Joshua Gibson 12, 13 Corinne Hertaeg 1 Stefanie Hartmann 14 Emmanuelle Jacquin-Joly 15 Mark Lammers 13 Blas Lavandero 2 Ina Lindenbaum 5 Lauriane Massardier-Galatà 10 Camille Meslin 16 Nicolas Montagné 15 Nina Pak 9 Marylène Poirié 10 Rosanna Salvia 11 Chris Smith 17 Denis Tagu 4 Sophie Tares 10 Heiko Vogel 18 Tanja Schwander 6 Jean-Christophe Simon 4 Christian Figueroa 2 Christoph Vorburger 11 Fabrice Legeai 4, 19 Jürgen Gadau 20, *
Abstract : Background: Parasitoid wasps have fascinating life cycles and play an important role in trophic networks, yet little is known about their genome content and function. Parasitoids that infect aphids are an important group with the potential for biological control. Their success depends on adapting to develop inside aphids and overcoming both host aphid defenses and their protective endosymbionts.

Results: We present the de novo genome assemblies, detailed annotation, and comparative analysis of two closely related parasitoid wasps that target pest aphids: Aphidius ervi and Lysiphlebus fabarum (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae). The genomes are small (139 and 141 Mbp) and the most AT-rich reported thus far for any arthropod (GC content: 25.8 and 23.8%). This nucleotide bias is accompanied by skewed codon usage and is stronger in genes with adult-biased expression. AT-richness may be the consequence of reduced genome size, a near absence of DNA methylation, and energy efficiency. We identify missing desaturase genes, whose absence may underlie mimicry in the cuticular hydrocarbon profile of L. fabarum. We highlight key gene groups including those underlying venom composition, chemosensory perception, and sex determination, as well as potential losses in immune pathway genes.

Conclusions: These findings are of fundamental interest for insect evolution and biological control applications. They provide a strong foundation for further functional studies into coevolution between parasitoids and their hosts. Both genomes are available at
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Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 28, 2020 - 4:51:19 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 3:08:10 PM


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Alice Dennis, Gabriel Ballesteros, Stéphanie Robin, Lukas Schrader, Jens Bast, et al.. Functional insights from the GC-poor genomes of two aphid parasitoids, "Aphidius ervi" and "Lysiphlebus fabarum". BMC Genomics, BioMed Central, 2020, 21 (Art. 376), pp.1-27. ⟨10.1186/s12864-020-6764-0⟩. ⟨hal-02649295⟩



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