Comparative genomic analysis of six Glossina genomes, vectors of African trypanosomes

Authors Organisations
  • Geoffrey M. Attardo(Author)
    University of California, Davis
  • Adly M. M. Abd-Alla(Author)
    Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food & Agriculture
  • Alvaro Acosta-Serrano(Author)
    Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
  • James E. Allen(Author)
    European Bioinformatics Institute - EMBL-EBI
  • Rosemary Bateta(Author)
    Biotechnology Research Institute -Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization
  • Joshua B. Benoit(Author)
    University of Cincinnati
  • Kostas Bourtzis(Author)
    Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food & Agriculture
  • Jelle Caers(Author)
    Functional Genomics and Proteomics Group, Belgium
  • Guy Caljon(Author)
    University of Antwerp
  • Mikkel B. Christensen(Author)
    European Bioinformatics Institute - EMBL-EBI
  • David W. Farrow(Author)
    University of Cincinnati
  • Markus Friedrich(Author)
    Wayne State University
  • Aurélie Hua-Van(Author)
    Université Paris‐Saclay
  • Emily C. Jennings(Author)
    University of Cincinnati
  • Denis M. Larkin(Author)
  • Daniel Lawson(Author)
    Imperial College London
  • Michael J. Lehane(Author)
    Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
  • Vasileios P. Lenis(Author)
  • Ernesto Lowy-Gallego(Author)
    European Bioinformatics Institute - EMBL-EBI
  • Rosaline W. Macharia(Author)
    University of Nairobi
  • Anna R. Malacrida(Author)
    University of Pavia
  • Heather G. Marco(Author)
    University of Cape Town
  • Daniel Masiga(Author)
    International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology
  • Gareth L. Maslen(Author)
    European Bioinformatics Institute - EMBL-EBI
  • Irina Matetovici(Author)
    Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium
  • Richard P. Meisel(Author)
    University of Houston
  • Irene Meki(Author)
    Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food & Agriculture
  • Veronika Michalkova(Author)
    Florida International University
    Slovak Academy of Sciences
  • Wolfgang J. Miller(Author)
    Medical University of Vienna
  • Patrick Minx(Author)
    Washington University School of Medicine
  • Paul O. Mireji(Author)
    Biotechnology Research Institute -Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization
    Kenya Medical Research Institute
  • Lino Ometto(Author)
    Fondazione Edmund Mach
  • Andrew G. Parker(Author)
    Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food & Agriculture
  • Rita Rio(Author)
    West Virginia University
  • Clair Rose(Author)
    Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
  • Andrew J. Rosendale(Author)
    Mount St. Joseph University
    University of Cincinnati
  • Omar Rota-Stabelli(Author)
    Fondazione Edmund Mach
  • Grazia Savini(Author)
    University of Pavia
  • Liliane Schoofs(Author)
    Functional Genomics and Proteomics Group, Belgium
  • Francesca Scolari(Author)
    University of Pavia
  • Martin Swain(Author)
  • Peter Takáč(Author)
    Ústav zoológie SAV
  • Chad Tomlinson(Author)
    Washington University School of Medicine
  • George Tsiamis(Author)
    University of Patras
  • Jan Van Den Abbeele(Author)
    Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium
  • Aurelien Vigneron(Author)
    Yale School of Public Health
  • Jingwen Wang(Author)
    Fudan University
  • Wesley C. Warren(Author)
    Washington University School of Medicine
    University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Robert M. Waterhouse(Author)
    University of Lausanne
  • Matthew T. Weirauch(Author)
    Cincinnati Children's Hospital
  • Brian L. Weiss(Author)
    Yale School of Public Health
  • Richard K. Wilson(Author)
    Washington University School of Medicine
  • Xin Zhao(Author)
    Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Serap Aksoy(Author)
    Yale School of Public Health
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Article number187
Number of pages31
JournalGenome Biology
Volume20
Early online date02 Sep 2019
DOI
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 02 Sep 2019
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Abstract

Background
Tsetse flies (Glossina sp.) are the vectors of human and animal trypanosomiasis throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Tsetse flies are distinguished from other Diptera by unique adaptations, including lactation and the birthing of live young (obligate viviparity), a vertebrate blood-specific diet by both sexes, and obligate bacterial symbiosis. This work describes the comparative analysis of six Glossina genomes representing three sub-genera: Morsitans (G. morsitans morsitans, G. pallidipes, G. austeni), Palpalis (G. palpalis, G. fuscipes), and Fusca (G. brevipalpis) which represent different habitats, host preferences, and vectorial capacity.

Results
Genomic analyses validate established evolutionary relationships and sub-genera. Syntenic analysis of Glossina relative to Drosophila melanogaster shows reduced structural conservation across the sex-linked X chromosome. Sex-linked scaffolds show increased rates of female-specific gene expression and lower evolutionary rates relative to autosome associated genes. Tsetse-specific genes are enriched in protease, odorant-binding, and helicase activities. Lactation-associated genes are conserved across all Glossina species while male seminal proteins are rapidly evolving. Olfactory and gustatory genes are reduced across the genus relative to other insects. Vision-associated Rhodopsin genes show conservation of motion detection/tracking functions and variance in the Rhodopsin detecting colors in the blue wavelength ranges.

Conclusions
Expanded genomic discoveries reveal the genetics underlying Glossina biology and provide a rich body of knowledge for basic science and disease control. They also provide insight into the evolutionary biology underlying novel adaptations and are relevant to applied aspects of vector control such as trap design and discovery of novel pest and disease control strategies.