Genome sequence of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum.

TitleGenome sequence of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
Corporate AuthorsInternational Aphid Genomics Consortium
JournalPLoS Biol
Date Published2010 Feb 23
KeywordsAnimals, Aphids, Buchnera, Gene Transfer, Horizontal, Genome, Insect, Symbiosis

Aphids are important agricultural pests and also biological models for studies of insect-plant interactions, symbiosis, virus vectoring, and the developmental causes of extreme phenotypic plasticity. Here we present the 464 Mb draft genome assembly of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. This first published whole genome sequence of a basal hemimetabolous insect provides an outgroup to the multiple published genomes of holometabolous insects. Pea aphids are host-plant specialists, they can reproduce both sexually and asexually, and they have coevolved with an obligate bacterial symbiont. Here we highlight findings from whole genome analysis that may be related to these unusual biological features. These findings include discovery of extensive gene duplication in more than 2000 gene families as well as loss of evolutionarily conserved genes. Gene family expansions relative to other published genomes include genes involved in chromatin modification, miRNA synthesis, and sugar transport. Gene losses include genes central to the IMD immune pathway, selenoprotein utilization, purine salvage, and the entire urea cycle. The pea aphid genome reveals that only a limited number of genes have been acquired from bacteria; thus the reduced gene count of Buchnera does not reflect gene transfer to the host genome. The inventory of metabolic genes in the pea aphid genome suggests that there is extensive metabolite exchange between the aphid and Buchnera, including sharing of amino acid biosynthesis between the aphid and Buchnera. The pea aphid genome provides a foundation for post-genomic studies of fundamental biological questions and applied agricultural problems.

Alternate JournalPLoS Biol
PubMed ID20186266
PubMed Central IDPMC2826372
Grant ListBB/F005342/1 / BB_ / Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council / United Kingdom
K12 GM000708 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
U54 HG003273 / HG / NHGRI NIH HHS / United States
5-U54-HG003273 / HG / NHGRI NIH HHS / United States

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