Functional insights from the GC-poor genomes of two aphid parasitoids, <em>Aphidius ervi</em> and <em>Lysiphlebus fabarum</em> - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Preprints, Working Papers, ... (Preprint) Year : 2019

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

Maya Belghazi
Dominique Colinet
Jean-Luc Gatti
Chris R. Smith
  • Function : Author
Sophie Tares

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 biocontrol, and infecting aphids requires overcoming both aphid defenses and their defensive 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), highly syntenic, 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 age-specific energy demands. We identify expansions of F-box/Leucine-rich-repeat proteins, suggesting that diversification in this gene family may be associated with their broad host range or with countering defenses from aphids’ endosymbionts. The absence of some immune genes (Toll and Imd pathways) resembles similar losses in their aphid hosts, highlighting the potential impact of symbiosis on both aphids and their parasitoids. Conclusions These findings are of fundamental interest for insect evolution and beyond. This will provide a strong foundation for further functional studies including coevolution with respect to their hosts, the basis of successful infection, and biocontrol. Both genomes are available at https://bipaa.genouest.org.
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hal-02788571 , version 1 (05-06-2020)

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Alice B. Dennis, Gabriel I. 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. 2019. ⟨hal-02788571⟩
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