A Near-Chromosome Level Genome Assembly of the European Hoverfly, Sphaerophoria Rueppellii (Diptera: Syrphidae), and a Comparative Analysis of Insecticide Resistance-Related Gene Families in Hemipteran Crop Pests and Pollinators

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Bailey, E., Field, L. M., Rawlings, C. J., King, R., Mohareb, F., Hassani-Pak, K., Hughes, D. J., Williamson, M. S., Ganko, E., Buer, B. and Nauen, R. 2022. A Near-Chromosome Level Genome Assembly of the European Hoverfly, Sphaerophoria Rueppellii (Diptera: Syrphidae), and a Comparative Analysis of Insecticide Resistance-Related Gene Families in Hemipteran Crop Pests and Pollinators. BMC Genomics. 23 (1), p. 198. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-022-08436-5

AuthorsBailey, E., Field, L. M., Rawlings, C. J., King, R., Mohareb, F., Hassani-Pak, K., Hughes, D. J., Williamson, M. S., Ganko, E., Buer, B. and Nauen, R.
Abstract

Background: Sphaerophoria rueppellii, a European species of hoverfly, is a highly effective beneficial predator of crop pests including aphids, thrips and coleopteran/lepidopteran larvae in integrated pest management (IPM) programmes. It is also a key pollinator of a wide variety of important agricultural crops. No genomic information is currently available for S. rueppellii. Without genomic information for such beneficial predator species, we are unable to perform comparative analyses of insecticide target-sites and genes encoding metabolic enzymes potentially responsible for insecticide resistance, between crop pests and their predators. These metabolic mechanisms include several gene families - cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s), ATP binding cassette transporters (ABCs), glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs), UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGTs) and carboxyl/choline esterases (CCEs).

Methods and findings: In this study, a high-quality near-chromosome level de novo genome assembly (as well as a mitochondrial genome assembly) for S. rueppellii has been generated using a hybrid approach with PacBio long-read and Illumina short-read data, followed by super scaffolding using Hi-C data. The final assembly achieved a scaffold N50 of 87Mb, a total genome size of 537.6Mb and a level of completeness of 96% using a set of 1,658 core insect genes present as full-length genes. The assembly was annotated with 14,249 protein-coding genes.

Comparative analysis revealed gene expansions of CYP6Zx P450s, epsilon-class GSTs, dietary CCEs and multiple UGT families (UGT37/302/308/430/431). Conversely, ABCs, delta-class GSTs and non-CYP6Zx P450s showed limited expansion. Differences were seen in the distributions of resistance-associated gene families at the subfamily levels between S. rueppellii and some crop pests.

Conclusion and significance: This assembly is the first published genome for a predatory member of the Syrphidae family and will serve as a useful resource for further research into selectivity and potential tolerance of insecticides by beneficial predators. Furthermore, the expansion of some gene families often linked to insecticide resistance and selectivity may be an indicator of the capacity of this predator to detoxify IPM selective insecticides. These findings could be exploited by targeted insecticide screens and functional studies to increase effectiveness of IPM strategies, which aim to increase crop yields by sustainably and effectively controlling pests without impacting beneficial predator populations.

KeywordsSphaerophoria rueppellii; Hoverfly; PacBio; Illumina; Hi-C; Whole genome sequencing; Diptera; Crop pests; Comparative genomics; Beneficial predator; Insecticide resistance
Year of Publication2022
JournalBMC Genomics
Journal citation23 (1), p. 198
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-022-08436-5
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codePest Genomics Initiative
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online12 Mar 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted11 Feb 2022
PublisherBiomed Central Ltd
ISSN1471-2164

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