Minimal tissue inputs produce a chromosome-scale genome assembly of the
rusty patched bumble bee, an endangered North American pollinator
The rusty patched bumble bee, Bombus affinis, is an important
pollinator in North America and a federally listed endangered species.
Due to habitat loss and large declines in population size, B.
affinis is facing imminent extinction unless human intervention and
recovery efforts are implemented. To better understand B. affinis
biology and population genetic and genomic landscapes, we sequenced and
assembled the B. affinis genome from a single male. Whole genome
HiFi sequencing on PacBio coupled with HiC sequencing resulted in a
complete and highly contiguous contig assembly that was scaffolded into
a chromosomal context, resolving 18 chromosomes for this species. All
material for both HiFi and HiC sequencing was derived from a single
abdominal tissue segment from the one male. These assembly results,
coupled with the minimal amount of tissue destructively sampled,
demonstrates methods for generating contiguous and complete genomic
resources for a rare and endangered species with limited material
available and highlights the importance of sample preservation. Precise
methods and applications of these methods are presented for potential
applications in other species with similar limitations in specimen
availability and curation considerations.