A model species for agricultural pest genomics: The genome of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

Sean D. Schoville, Yolanda H. Chen, Martin N. Andersson, Joshua B. Benoit, Anita Bhandari, Julia H. Bowsher, Kristian Brevik, Kaat Cappelle, Mei Ju M. Chen, Anna K. Childers, Christopher Childers, Olivier Christiaens, Justin Clements, Elise M. Didion, Elena N. Elpidina, Patamarerk Engsontia, Markus Friedrich, Inmaculada García-Robles, Richard A. Gibbs, Chandan GoswamiAlessandro Grapputo, Kristina Gruden, Marcin Grynberg, Bernard Henrissat, Emily C. Jennings, Jeffery W. Jones, Megha Kalsi, Sher A. Khan, Abhishek Kumar, Fei Li, Vincent Lombard, Xingzhou Ma, Alexander Martynov, Nicholas J. Miller, Robert F. Mitchell, Monica Munoz-Torres, Anna Muszewska, Brenda Oppert, Subba Reddy Palli, Kristen A. Panfilio, Yannick Pauchet, Lindsey C. Perkin, Marko Petek, Monica F. Poelchau, Éric Record, Joseph P. Rinehart, Hugh M. Robertson, Andrew J. Rosendale, Victor M. Ruiz-Arroyo, Guy Smagghe, Zsofia Szendrei, Gregg W.C. Thomas, Alex S. Torson, Iris M. Vargas Jentzsch, Matthew T. Weirauch, Ashley D. Yates, George D. Yocum, June Sun Yoon, Stephen Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


The Colorado potato beetle is one of the most challenging agricultural pests to manage. It has shown a spectacular ability to adapt to a variety of solanaceaeous plants and variable climates during its global invasion, and, notably, to rapidly evolve insecticide resistance. To examine evidence of rapid evolutionary change, and to understand the genetic basis of herbivory and insecticide resistance, we tested for structural and functional genomic changes relative to other arthropod species using genome sequencing, transcriptomics, and community annotation. Two factors that might facilitate rapid evolutionary change include transposable elements, which comprise at least 17% of the genome and are rapidly evolving compared to other Coleoptera, and high levels of nucleotide diversity in rapidly growing pest populations. Adaptations to plant feeding are evident in gene expansions and differential expression of digestive enzymes in gut tissues, as well as expansions of gustatory receptors for bitter tasting. Surprisingly, the suite of genes involved in insecticide resistance is similar to other beetles. Finally, duplications in the RNAi pathway might explain why Leptinotarsa decemlineata has high sensitivity to dsRNA. The L. decemlineata genome provides opportunities to investigate a broad range of phenotypes and to develop sustainable methods to control this widely successful pest.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1931
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We sincerely thank the sequencing, assembly and annotation teams at the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center for their efforts. We would like to acknowledge the following funding sources: sequencing, assembly and automated annotation was supported by NIH grant NHGRI U54 HG003273 to RAG; the UVM Agricultural Experiment Station Hatch grant to YHC (VT-H02010); the NIH postdoctoral training grant to RFM (K12 GM000708); MMT’s work with Apollo was supported by NIH grants (5R01GM080203 from NIGMS, and 5R01HG004483 from NHGRI) and by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the U.S. Department of Energy (contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231); the National Science Centre (2012/07/D/NZ2/04286) and Ministry of Science and Higher Education scholarship to AM. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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