September 22, 2019  |  

The genomic and functional landscapes of developmental plasticity in the American cockroach.

Authors: Li, Sheng and Zhu, Shiming and Jia, Qiangqiang and Yuan, Dongwei and Ren, Chonghua and Li, Kang and Liu, Suning and Cui, Yingying and Zhao, Haigang and Cao, Yanghui and Fang, Gangqi and Li, Daqi and Zhao, Xiaoming and Zhang, Jianzhen and Yue, Qiaoyun and Fan, Yongliang and Yu, Xiaoqiang and Feng, Qili and Zhan, Shuai

Many cockroach species have adapted to urban environments, and some have been serious pests of public health in the tropics and subtropics. Here, we present the 3.38-Gb genome and a consensus gene set of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana. We report insights from both genomic and functional investigations into the underlying basis of its adaptation to urban environments and developmental plasticity. In comparison with other insects, expansions of gene families in P. americana exist for most core gene families likely associated with environmental adaptation, such as chemoreception and detoxification. Multiple pathways regulating metamorphic development are well conserved, and RNAi experiments inform on key roles of 20-hydroxyecdysone, juvenile hormone, insulin, and decapentaplegic signals in regulating plasticity. Our analyses reveal a high level of sequence identity in genes between the American cockroach and two termite species, advancing it as a valuable model to study the evolutionary relationships between cockroaches and termites.

Journal: Nature communications
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03281-1
Year: 2018

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