A pooled-sample draft genome assembly provides insights into host plant-specific transcriptional responses of a Solanaceae-specializing pest, Tupiocoris notatus (Hemiptera: Miridae)

Jay K. Goldberg, Carson W. Allan, Dario Copetti, Luciano M. Matzkin, Judith Bronstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The assembly of genomes from pooled samples of genetically heterogenous samples of conspecifics remains challenging. In this study, we show that high-quality genome assemblies can be produced from samples of multiple wild-caught individuals. We sequenced DNA extracted from a pooled sample of conspecific herbivorous insects (Hemiptera: Miridae: Tupiocoris notatus) acquired from a greenhouse infestation in Tucson, Arizona (in the range of 30–100 individuals; 0.5 mL tissue by volume) using PacBio highly accurate long reads (HiFi). The initial assembly contained multiple haplotigs (>85% BUSCOs duplicated), but duplicate contigs could be easily purged to reveal a highly complete assembly (95.6% BUSCO, 4.4% duplicated) that is highly contiguous by short-read assembly standards (N50 = 675 kb; Largest contig = 4.3 Mb). We then used our assembly as the basis for a genome-guided differential expression study of host plant-specific transcriptional responses. We found thousands of genes (N = 4982) to be differentially expressed between our new data from individuals feeding on Datura wrightii (Solanaceae) and existing RNA-seq data from Nicotiana attenuata (Solanaceae)-fed individuals. We identified many of these genes as previously documented detoxification genes such as glutathione-S-transferases, cytochrome P450s, and UDP-glucosyltransferases. Together our results show that long-read sequencing of pooled samples can provide a cost-effective genome assembly option for small insects and can provide insights into the genetic mechanisms underlying interactions between plants and herbivorous pests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere10979
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Keywords

  • genomics
  • hemiptera
  • herbivory
  • interactions
  • plant-insect
  • solanaceae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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