The USDA-ARS Ag100Pest Initiative: High-Quality Genome Assemblies for Agricultural Pest Arthropod Research

Anna K. Childers, Scott M. Geib, Sheina B. Sim, Monica F. Poelchau, Brad S. Coates, Tyler J. Simmonds, Erin D. Scully, Timothy P. L. Smith, Christopher P. Childers, Renee L. Corpuz, Kevin Hackett, Brian Scheffler
2021 Insects  
The phylum Arthropoda includes species crucial for ecosystem stability, soil health, crop production, and others that present obstacles to crop and animal agriculture. The United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service initiated the Ag100Pest Initiative to generate reference genome assemblies of arthropods that are (or may become) pests to agricultural production and global food security. We describe the project goals, process, status, and future. The first three years
more » ... f the project were focused on species selection, specimen collection, and the construction of lab and bioinformatics pipelines for the efficient production of assemblies at scale. Contig-level assemblies of 47 species are presented, all of which were generated from single specimens. Lessons learned and optimizations leading to the current pipeline are discussed. The project name implies a target of 100 species, but the efficiencies gained during the project have supported an expansion of the original goal and a total of 158 species are currently in the pipeline. We anticipate that the processes described in the paper will help other arthropod research groups or other consortia considering genome assembly at scale.
doi:10.3390/insects12070626 fatcat:fu735ka2k5hj3b5aiuvoguhumy