The genome of Tetranychus urticae reveals herbivorous pest adaptations

Miodrag Grbić, Thomas Van Leeuwen, Richard M. Clark, Stephane Rombauts, Pierre Rouzé, Vojislava Grbić, Edward J. Osborne, Wannes Dermauw, Phuong Cao Thi Ngoc, Félix Ortego, Pedro Hernández-Crespo, Isabel Diaz, Manuel Martinez, Maria Navajas, Élio Sucena, Sara Magalhães, Lisa Nagy, Ryan M. Pace, Sergej Djuranović, Guy SmaggheMasatoshi Iga, Olivier Christiaens, Jan A. Veenstra, John Ewer, Rodrigo Mancilla Villalobos, Jeffrey L. Hutter, Stephen D. Hudson, Marisela Velez, Soojin V. Yi, Jia Zeng, Andre Pires-Da Silva, Fernando Roch, Marc Cazaux, Marie Navarro, Vladimir Zhurov, Gustavo Acevedo, Anica Bjelica, Jeffrey A. Fawcett, Eric Bonnet, Cindy Martens, Guy Baele, Lothar Wissler, Aminael Sanchez-Rodriguez, Luc Tirry, Catherine Blais, Kristof Demeestere, Stefan R. Henz, T. Ryan Gregory, Johannes Mathieu, Lou Verdon, Laurent Farinelli, Jeremy Schmutz, Erika Lindquist, René Feyereisen, Yves Van De Peer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

817 Scopus citations


The spider mite Tetranychus urticae is a cosmopolitan agricultural pest with an extensive host plant range and an extreme record of pesticide resistance. Here we present the completely sequenced and annotated spider mite genome, representing the first complete chelicerate genome. At 90 megabases T. urticae has the smallest sequenced arthropod genome. Compared with other arthropods, the spider mite genome shows unique changes in the hormonal environment and organization of the Hox complex, and also reveals evolutionary innovation of silk production. We find strong signatures of polyphagy and detoxification in gene families associated with feeding on different hosts and in new gene families acquired by lateral gene transfer. Deep transcriptome analysis of mites feeding on different plants shows how this pest responds to a changing host environment. The T. urticae genome thus offers new insights into arthropod evolution and plant-herbivore interactions, and provides unique opportunities for developing novel plant protection strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-492
Number of pages6
Issue number7374
StatePublished - Nov 24 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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