A Genome for Edith's Checkerspot Butterfly: An Insect with Complex Host-Adaptive Suites and Rapid Evolutionary Responses to Environmental Changes

Kalle Tunstrom*, Christopher W. Wheat, Camille Parmesan, Michael C. Singer, Alexander S. Mikheyev*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Insects have been key players in the assessments of biodiversity impacts of anthropogenically driven environmental change, including the evolutionary and ecological impacts of climate change. Populations of Edith's Checkerspot Butterfly (Euphydryas editha) adapt rapidly to diverse environmental conditions, with numerous high-impact studies documenting these dynamics over several decades. However, studies of the underlying genetic bases of these responses have been hampered by missing genomic resources, limiting the ability to connect genomic responses to environmental change. Using a combination of Oxford Nanopore long reads, haplotype merging, HiC scaffolding followed by Illumina polishing, we generated a highly contiguous and complete assembly (contigs n =142, N50 =21.2 Mb, total length=607.8 Mb; BUSCOs n = 5,286, single copy complete=97.8%, duplicated=0.9%, fragmented=0.3%, missing=1.0%). A total of 98% of the assembled genome was placed into 31 chromosomes, which displayed large-scale synteny with other well-characterized lepidopteran genomes. The E. editha genome, annotation, and functional descriptions now fill a missing gap for one of the leading field-based ecological model systems in North America.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberevac113
    JournalGenome Biology and Evolution
    Volume14
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

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