The genomes of two parasitic wasps that parasitize the diamondback moth


Parasitic insects are well-known biological control agents for arthropod pests worldwide. They are capable of regulating their host’s physiology, development and behaviour. However, many of the molecular mechanisms involved in host-parasitoid interaction remain unknown.


We sequenced the genomes of two parasitic wasps (Cotesia vestalis, and Diadromus collaris) that parasitize the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella using Illumina and Pacbio sequencing platforms. Genome assembly using SOAPdenovo produced a 178 Mb draft genome for C. vestalis and a 399 Mb draft genome for D. collaris. A total set that contained 11,278 and 15,328 protein-coding genes for C. vestalis and D. collaris, respectively, were predicted using evidence (homology-based and transcriptome-based) and de novo prediction methodology. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the braconid C. vestalis and the ichneumonid D. collaris diverged approximately 124 million years ago. These two wasps exhibit gene gains and losses that in some cases reflect their shared life history as parasitic wasps and in other cases are unique to particular species. Gene families with functions in development, nutrient acquisition from hosts, and metabolism have expanded in each wasp species, while genes required for biosynthesis of some amino acids and steroids have been lost, since these nutrients can be directly obtained from the host. Both wasp species encode a relative higher number of neprilysins (NEPs) thus far reported in arthropod genomes while several genes encoding immune-related proteins and detoxification enzymes were lost in both wasp genomes.


We present the annotated genome sequence of two parasitic wasps C. vestalis and D. collaris, which parasitize a common host, the diamondback moth, P. xylostella. These data will provide a fundamental source for studying the mechanism of host control and will be used in parasitoid comparative genomics to study the origin and diversification of the parasitic lifestyle.

Min Shi, Zhizhi Wang, Xiqian Ye, Hongqing Xie, Fei Li, Xiaoxiao Hu, Zehua Wang, Chuanlin Yin, Yuenan Zhou, Qijuan Gu, Jiani Zou, Leqing Zhan, Yuan Yao, Jian Yang, Shujun Wei, Rongmin Hu, Dianhao Guo, Jiangyan Zhu, Yanping Wang, Jianhua Huang, Francesco Pennacchio, Michael R. Strand & Xuexin Chen. The genomes of two parasitic wasps that parasitize the diamondback moth. BMC Genomics 20893 (2019) doi:10.1186/s12864-019-6266-0.

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