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Research Update


Genome assembly of the white-spotted flower chafer (Protaetia brevitarsis) was completed

Source: Institute of Plant Protection

Recently, the Innovation Team for Development and Application of Bio-pesticides to Insect Pests of IPP-CAAS reported the genomic characteristics of the white-spotted flower chafer (Protaetia brevitarsis) for the first time. This study not only provided insights into the biology of the species, but  also provided a wealth of information to researchers interested in the evolution, control, and utilization of P. brevitarsis. These results have been published online in the high-impact open-access journal Gigascience.

P. brevitarsis is an important insect species of Coleoptera Scarabaeidae that is distributed throughout China and the neighboring countries. It appears one generation per year in the natural environment. P. brevitarsis larvae live in the topsoil and feed on waste, such as soil humus, decaying plant residues, and even animal dung. They are important waste decomposers and not harmful to plants. This team previously found that the P. brevitarsis could convert waste quickly and efficiently. The humic acid content in the frass of P. brevitarsis larvae feeding maize straw was 24.37%, which was much higher than other transformation technologies. However, the P. brevitarsis adults are phytophagous, causing severe damages to maize, sunflower and other crops, and flowers and fruits of grapes, pears and other fruit trees. Therefore, P. brevitarsis adults are important agricultural pests which could cause a significant loss in agricultural production.



The genome assembly results indicated that the total size of haploid genome contigs (HGCs) of P. brevitarsis was 750.74 Mb. In addition, a total size of 393.19 Mb of allele sequences (ASs) was also retained. 34,110 (22,229 in HGCs and 11,881 located in AS) protein coding genes were identified from this genome. The phylogenetic tree indicated that P. brevitarsis was closely related to Onthophagus taurus, and the estimated divergence time was around 140 million years ago (Mya).


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By Shu Changlong (clshu@ippcaas.cn)