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Chromosome-level genome assembly for the horned-gall aphid provides insights into interactions between gall-making insect and its host plant
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  • Hongyuan Wei,
  • Yu-Xuan Ye,
  • Hai-Jian Huang,
  • Ming-Shun Chen,
  • Zi-Xiang Yang,
  • Xiaoming Chen,
  • Chuan-Xi Zhang
Hongyuan Wei
Chinese Academy of Forestry Institute of Highland Forest Science

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Yu-Xuan Ye
Zhejiang University
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Hai-Jian Huang
Ningbo University
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Ming-Shun Chen
Kansas State University
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Zi-Xiang Yang
Chinese Academy of Forestry Institute of Highland Forest Science
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Xiaoming Chen
Chinese Academy of Forestry Institute of Highland Forest Science
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Chuan-Xi Zhang
Zhejiang University
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The horned gall aphid Schlechtendalia chinensis, is an economically important insect that induces galls valuable for medicinal and chemical industries. S. chinensis manipulates its host plant to form well-organized horned galls during feeding. So far, more than twenty aphid genomes have been reported; however, all of those are derived from free-living aphids. Here we generated a high-quality genome assembly of S. chinensis, representing the first genome sequence of a galling aphid. The final genome assembly was 280.43 Mb, with 97% of the assembled sequences anchored into thirteen chromosomes. S. chinensis presents the smallest aphid genome size among available aphid genomes to date. The contig and scaffold N50 values were 3.39 Mb and 20.58 Mb, respectively. The assembly included 96.4% of conserved arthropod and 97.8% of conserved Hemiptera single-copy orthologous genes based on BUSCO analysis. A total of 13,437 protein-coding genes were predicted. Phylogenomic analysis showed that S. chinensis formed a single clade between the Eriosoma lanigerum clade and the Aphidini+Macrosiphini aphid clades. In addition, salivary proteins were found to be differentially expressed when S. chinensis underwent host alternation, indicating their potential roles in gall formation and plant defense suppression. A total of 36 cytochrome P450 genes were identified in S. chinensis, considerably fewer compared to other aphids, probably due to its small host plant range. The high-quality S. chinensis genome assembly and annotation provide an essential genetic background for future studies to reveal the mechanism of gall formation and to explore the interaction between aphids and their host plants.
23 Mar 2022Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
23 Mar 2022Assigned to Editor
23 Mar 2022Submission Checks Completed
23 Mar 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
25 Mar 2022Editorial Decision: Accept
Apr 2022Published in Ecology and Evolution volume 12 issue 4. 10.1002/ece3.8815