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Title: Two bumblebee genomes illuminate the route to advanced social living

item SADD, BEN - Illinois State University
item BAMBEAU, SETH - Eth Zurich
item BLOCH, GUY - Hebrew University Of Jerusalem
item BOURKE, ANDREW - University Of East Anglia
item COLLINS, DAVID - University Of East Anglia
item DEARDEN, PETER - University Of Otago
item FLORES, KEVIN - Arizona State University
item DEGRAAF, DIRK - Ghent University
item ELSIK, CHRISTINE - University Of Missouri
item GADAU, JUERGEN - Arizona State University
item GRIMMELIKHUIJZEN, CORNELIS - University Of Copenhagen
item KLASBERG, STEFFEN - Wilhelms University
item HASSELMANN, MARTIN - University Of Cologne
item LOZIER, JEFFREY - University Of Alabama
item ROBERTSON, HUGH - University Of Illinois
item ROBINSON, GENE - University Of Illinois
item AMDAM,, GRO - Arizona State University
item BROWN, MARK - University Of London
item CHITTKA, LARS - Queen Mary University Of London
item ERLER, SILVIO - Martin Luther University
item Evans, Jay
item GIBBS, RICHARD - Baylor College Of Medicine
item HARTFELDER, KLAUS - Universidad De Sao Paulo
item HASSELMANN, MARTIN - University Of Hohenheim
item HAUSER, FRANK - University Of Copenhagen
item HUDSON, MATTHEW - University Of Illinois
item JOHNSON, REED - The Ohio State University
item MORITZ, ROBIN - Martin Luther University
item MURPHY, TERENCE - Us National Library Of Medicine
item RICHARDS, STEPHEN - Baylor College Of Medicine
item RUEPPELL, OLAV - University Of North Carolina
item SALZBERG, STEVEN - Johns Hopkins University
item ZDOBNOV, EVGENY - University Of Geneva
item SCHMID-HEMPEL, PAUL - Eth Zurich
item SMAGGHE, GUY - Ghent University
item STOLLE, ECKART - Martin Luther University
item VAN VAERENBERGH, MATTHIAS - Arizona State University
item WATERHOUSE, ROBERT - University Of Geneva
item WORLEY, KIM - Baylor College Of Medicine

Submitted to: Genome Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2015
Publication Date: 5/22/2015
Publication URL: http://doi:10.1186/s13059-015-0623-3
Citation: Sadd, B.M., Bambeau, S.M., Bloch, G., Bourke, A.F., Collins, D., Dearden, P.K., Flores, K.B., Degraaf, D.C., Elsik, C.G., Gadau, J., Grimmelikhuijzen, C.J., Klasberg, S., Hasselmann, M., Lozier, J.D., Robertson, H., Robinson, G.E., Amdam,, G.V., Brown, M.J., Chittka, L., Erler, S., Evans, J.D., Gibbs, R., Hartfelder, K., Hasselmann, M., Hauser, F., Hudson, M., Johnson, R.M., Moritz, R., Murphy, T., Richards, S., Rueppell, O., Salzberg, S.L., Zdobnov, E.M., Schmid-Hempel, P., Smagghe, G., Stolle, E., Van Vaerenbergh, M., Waterhouse, R., Worley, K. 2015. Two bumblebee genomes illuminate the route to advanced social living. Genome Biology. 16:76.

Interpretive Summary: Bumble bees are important pollinators in natural and agricultural settings worldwide. This project described and analyzed the genome sequences of the primary bumble bee species used in agriculture in the United States and Europe. This genome project provides novel insights into pollinator foraging, immune defenses and development, and can now be used to develop improved management schemes for these pollinators. These resources will be useful for researchers and producers of bumble bees for greenhouse pollination, and can also better inform the biology of the honey bee, a key agricultural pollinator.

Technical Abstract: Social living represents a major evolutionary transition. Primitively eusocial bumblebees are uniquely placed to illuminate the evolutionary route from solitary to highly eusocial insect societies, for which molecular level information is largely lacking. Additionally, bumblebees are invaluable natural and agricultural pollinators, and thus, declines of some species are concerning. Genomic insights can inform about key aspects of bumblebee biology, including susceptibility to implicated threats to population viability, such as pathogens and pesticides. We report the high quality genome sequences of Bombus terrestris and B. impatiens, two ecologically dominant bumblebees used widely as study species. Genomic analyses based on categories key to the biology of these organisms identify salient characteristics, especially in comparison with highly eusocial honeybees. Like in honeybees, xenobiotic detoxification and immune genes are depauperate in bumblebees, suggesting such key aspects are more basal in the bee lineage. In chemoreception, relative to honeybees, bumblebees show a bias towards gustation from olfaction. However, multiple categories of genes linked to social organisation, including development and behaviour, show high conservation between the bumblebees and honeybees, despite marked biological differences. Interestingly, microRNAs, potentially responsible epigenetic modification underlying social traits, exhibit key differences. These two bumblebee genomes provide a foundation facilitating post-genomic investigations into these key pollinator insects and more broadly into insect societies as a whole. Overall, gene repertoires suggest that the route to advanced eusociality was set-up in ancestral species with regard to protein coding genes, but gene regulatory machinery may underlie key biological differences.