A Scaffold-Level Genome Assembly of the Pirate Bug, Orius Laevigatus, and a Comparative Analysis of Insecticide Resistance-Related Gene Families with Hemipteran Crop Pests
Emma Bailey, Linda Field, Christopher Rawlings, Rob King, Fady Mohareb, Keywan-Hassani Pak, David Hughes, Martin Williamson, Christoph Zimmer, Eric Ganko, Benjamin Buer, Ralf Nauen
Background: The pirate bug, Orius laevigatus, is a highly effective beneficial predator of crop pests including aphids, spider mites and thrips in integrated pest management (IPM) programmes. No genomic information is currently available for O. laevigatus, as is the case for the majority of beneficial predators which feed on crop pests. In contrast, genomic information for crop pests is far more readily available. The lack of publicly available genomes for beneficial predators to date has
... d our ability to perform comparative analyses of genes encoding potential insecticide resistance mechanisms between crop pests and their predators. These mechanisms include several gene/protein families including cytochrome P450s (P450s), ATP binding cassette transporters (ABCs), glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), UDP-glucosyltransferases (UGTs) and carboxyl/cholinesterases (CCEs).Methods and findings: In this study, a high-quality scaffold level de novo genome assembly for O. laevigatus has been generated using a hybrid approach with PacBio long-read and Illumina short-read data. The final assembly achieved a scaffold N50 of 125,649bp and a total genome size of 150.98Mb. The genome assembly achieved a level of completeness of 93.6% using a set of 1,658 core insect genes present as full-length genes. The assembly was annotated with 15,102 protein-coding genes - 87% of which were assigned a putative function - and the resultant gene set achieved a completeness of 84.5%. Comparative analyses revealed gene expansions of sigma class GSTs and CYP3 P450s. Conversely the UGT gene family showed limited expansion. Differences were seen in the distributions of resistance-associated gene families at the subfamily level between O. laevigatus and some of its targeted crop pests. A target site mutation in ryanodine receptors (I4790M, PxRyR) which has strong links to diamide resistance in crop pests and had previously only been identified in lepidopteran species was found to also be present in hemipteran species, including O. laevigatus. Conclusion and significance: This assembly is the first published genome for the Anthocoridae family and will serve as a useful resource for further research into target-site selectivity issues and potential resistance mechanisms in beneficial predators. Furthermore, the expansion of gene families often linked to insecticide resistance may be an indicator of the capacity of this predator to detoxify selective insecticides. These findings could be exploited by targeted pesticide screens and functional studies to increase effectiveness of IPM strategies, which aim to increase crop yields by effectively controlling pests in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner, without impacting beneficial predator populations.