JOURNAL ARTICLE

Draft genome of the mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, a major forest pest

Christopher I Keeling, Macaire M S Yuen, Nancy Y Liao, T Roderick Docking, Simon K Chan, Greg A Taylor, Diana L Palmquist, Shaun D Jackman, Anh Nguyen, Maria Li, Hannah Henderson, Jasmine K Janes, Yongjun Zhao, Pawan Pandoh, Richard Moore, Felix A H Sperling, Dezene P W Huber, Inanc Birol, Steven J M Jones, Joerg Bohlmann
Genome Biology 2013, 14 (3): R27
23537049

BACKGROUND: The mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, is the most serious insect pest of western North American pine forests. A recent outbreak destroyed more than 15 million hectares of pine forests, with major environmental effects on forest health, and economic effects on the forest industry. The outbreak has in part been driven by climate change, and will contribute to increased carbon emissions through decaying forests.

RESULTS: We developed a genome sequence resource for the mountain pine beetle to better understand the unique aspects of this insect's biology. A draft de novo genome sequence was assembled from paired-end, short-read sequences from an individual field-collected male pupa, and scaffolded using mate-paired, short-read genomic sequences from pooled field-collected pupae, paired-end short-insert whole-transcriptome shotgun sequencing reads of mRNA from adult beetle tissues, and paired-end Sanger EST sequences from various life stages. We describe the cytochrome P450, glutathione S-transferase, and plant cell wall-degrading enzyme gene families important to the survival of the mountain pine beetle in its harsh and nutrient-poor host environment, and examine genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism variation. A horizontally transferred bacterial sucrose-6-phosphate hydrolase was evident in the genome, and its tissue-specific transcription suggests a functional role for this beetle.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite Coleoptera being the largest insect order with over 400,000 described species, including many agricultural and forest pest species, this is only the second genome sequence reported in Coleoptera, and will provide an important resource for the Curculionoidea and other insects.

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