Hybrid genome assembly of a neotropical mutualistic ant

  • The success of social insects is largely intertwined with their highly advanced chemical communication system that facilitates recognition and discrimination of species and nest-mates, recruitment, and division of labor. Hydrocarbons, which cover the cuticle of insects, not only serve as waterproofing agents but also constitute a major component of this communication system. Two cryptic Crematogaster species, which share their nest with Camponotus ants, show striking diversity in their cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profile. This mutualistic system therefore offers a great opportunity to study the genetic basis of CHC divergence between sister species. As a basis for further genome-wide studies high-quality genomes are needed. Here, we present the annotated draft genome for Crematogaster levior A. By combining the three most commonly used sequencing techniques—Illumina, PacBio, and Oxford Nanopore—we constructed a high-quality de novo ant genome. We show that even low coverage of long reads can add significantly to overall genome contiguity. Annotation of desaturase and elongase genes, which play a role in CHC biosynthesis revealed one of the largest repertoires in ants and a higher number of desaturases in general than in other Hymenoptera. This may provide a mechanistic explanation for the high diversity observed in C. levior CHC profiles.

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Author:Juliane Hartke, Tilman SchellORCiDGND, Evelien Jongepier, Hanno SchmidtORCiDGND, Philipp P. Sprenger, Juraj PauleORCiDGND, Erich Bornberg-Bauer, Thomas Schmitt, Florian Menzel, Markus PfenningerORCiDGND, Barbara FeldmeyerORCiD
Pubmed Id:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31329228
Parent Title (English):Genome biology and evolution
Publisher:Oxford Univ. Press
Place of publication:Oxford
Contributor(s):Laura A. Katz
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Date of first Publication:2019/07/22
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/11/13
Tag:MinION; assembly; cuticular hydrocarbons; desaturase; elongase; formicine
Page Number:6
First Page:2306
Last Page:2311
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Institutes:Angeschlossene und kooperierende Institutionen / Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft
Biowissenschaften / Institut für Ökologie, Evolution und Diversität
Fachübergreifende Einrichtungen / Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum (BiK-F)
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0