|HEBERT, FRANCOIS - University Of Laval|
|JOHNSTON, J - Texas A&M University|
|HAMELIN, RICHARD - University Of Laval|
|CUSSON, MICHEL - University Of Laval|
|LEVESQUE, ROGER - University Of Laval|
Submitted to: G3, Genes/Genomes/Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/26/2021
Publication Date: 4/30/2021
Citation: Sparks, M., Hebert, F.O., Johnston, J.S., Hamelin, R., Cusson, M., Levesque, R., Gundersen, D.E. 2021. Sequencing, assembly and annotation of the whole-insect genome of Lymantria dispar dispar, the European gypsy moth. G3, Genes/Genomes/Genetics. https://doi.org/10.1093/g3journal/jkab150.
Interpretive Summary: The European gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar dispar (LDD), is a serious insect pest and a threat to urban trees, forests and forest-related industries in North America. A genome sequence was recently reported for a gypsy moth cell line, which was derived from LDD ovary tissues over 40 years ago. However, flow cytometry data for whole-insect LDD indicates it has a genome size more than 10% larger than its cell line counterpart. Sequencing of the LDD genome was partially motivated by an interest in characterizing the content that had presumably been lost in the gypsy moth cell line during the four decades it has been propagated in culture. Sequencing of the whole-insect LDD genomes was also motivated by a desire to identify the genetic components associated with flight in Asian gypsy moth females, a characteristic which is absent in European gypsy moth females. These genomic resources and information provided by this new LDD genome will be especially useful in developing a better understanding of the biology and population genetics of the gypsy moth pest and of caterpillar pests in general. This information will be used by scientific researchers and stakeholders or parties interested in controlling these invasive insect pests.
Technical Abstract: The European gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar dispar (LDD), is a serious pest and a threat to urban trees, forests and forest-related industries in North America. For use as a comparator with a previously published 865 Mb genome based on the LD652 pupal ovary-derived cell line, as well as whole-insect genome sequences obtained from the Asian gypsy moth subspecies L. dispar asiatica and L. dispar japonica, the whole-insect LDD genome was sequenced, assembled and annotated. The resulting assembly was 998 Mb in size, with a contig N50 of 662 Kb and [G+C] of 38.8%. Roughly 25.4% of the whole-insect genome appears to encode long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs), and a total of 11,901 protein sequences predicted by automated gene finding exhibited homology with reference sequences in the NCBI NR and/or UniProtKB databases at the most stringent similarity cutoff level (i.e., the gold tier). These results will be especially useful in developing a better understanding of the biology and population genetics of L. dispar and of the Lepidoptera in general.