Unique features of a global human ectoparasite identified through sequencing of the bed bug genome

Joshua B. Benoit, Zach N. Adelman, Klaus Reinhardt, Amanda Dolan, Monica Poelchau, Emily C. Jennings, Elise M. Szuter, Richard W. Hagan, Hemant Gujar, Jayendra Nath Shukla, Fang Zhu, M. Mohan, David R. Nelson, Andrew J. Rosendale, Christian Derst, Valentina Resnik, Sebastian Wernig, Pamela Menegazzi, Christian Wegener, Nicolai PeschelJacob M. Hendershot, Wolfgang Blenau, Reinhard Predel, Paul R. Johnston, Panagiotis Ioannidis, Robert M. Waterhouse, Ralf Nauen, Corinna Schorn, Mark Christoph Ott, Frank Maiwald, J. Spencer Johnston, Ameya D. Gondhalekar, Michael E. Scharf, Brittany F. Peterson, Kapil R. Raje, Benjamin A. Hottel, David Armisén, Antonin Jean Johan Crumière, Peter Nagui Refki, Maria Emilia Santos, Essia Sghaier, Sèverine Viala, Abderrahman Khila, Seung Joon Ahn, Christopher Childers, Chien Yueh Lee, Han Lin, Daniel S.T. Hughes, Elizabeth J. Duncan, Shwetha C. Murali, Jiaxin Qu, Shannon Dugan, Sandra L. Lee, Hsu Chao, Huyen Dinh, Yi Han, Harshavardhan Doddapaneni, Kim C. Worley, Donna M. Muzny, David Wheeler, Kristen A. Panfilio, Iris M. Vargas Jentzsch, Edward L. Vargo, Warren Booth, Markus Friedrich, Matthew T. Weirauch, Michelle A.E. Anderson, Jeffery W. Jones, Omprakash Mittapalli, Chaoyang Zhao, Jing Jiang Zhou, Jay D. Evans, Geoffrey M. Attardo, Hugh M. Robertson, Evgeny M. Zdobnov, Jose M.C. Ribeiro, Richard A. Gibbs, John H. Werren, Subba R. Palli, Coby Schal, Stephen Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


The bed bug, Cimex lectularius, has re-established itself as a ubiquitous human ectoparasite throughout much of the world during the past two decades. This global resurgence is likely linked to increased international travel and commerce in addition to widespread insecticide resistance. Analyses of the C. lectularius sequenced genome (650 Mb) and 14,220 predicted protein-coding genes provide a comprehensive representation of genes that are linked to traumatic insemination, a reduced chemosensory repertoire of genes related to obligate hematophagy, host-symbiont interactions, and several mechanisms of insecticide resistance. In addition, we document the presence of multiple putative lateral gene transfer events. Genome sequencing and annotation establish a solid foundation for future research on mechanisms of insecticide resistance, human-bed bug and symbiont-bed bug associations, and unique features of bed bug biology that contribute to the unprecedented success of C. lectularius as a human ectoparasite.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10165
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - Feb 2 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for genome sequencing, assembly and automated annotation was provided by NHGRI grant U54 HG003273 to R.A.G. Funding for bed bug lines development was provided by Blanton J. Whitmire endowment, Housing and Urban Development (NCHHU-00017-13), National Science Foundation (IOS-1052238), Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (2013-5-35 MBE) to Cob. S. Funding for preparation of genomic DNA and RNA for sequencing and for manual curation of some of the genes was provided by NIH (GM070559-9) to S.R.P. Funding for manual curation and other analyses were provided by the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fast Start Grant (11-UOO-124) to E.J.D., Fralin Life Sciences Institutes and Virginia Agriculture Experimental Station to Z.N.A., European Research Council (ERC-CoG 616346) to A.K., Deutsche For-schungsgemeinschaft (DFG): Pe1798/2-1 to N.P., Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG): PA2044/1-1 to K.A.P., Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG): collaborative research center SFB 1047 ‘Insect timing,’ Project A1 to P.M., The Zukunftskonzept at TU Dresden funded by the Exzellenzinitiative of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft to K.R., Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG): BL469/7-1 to Wo.B., Deutsche For-schungsgemeinschaft (DFG): 766/11-1 to R.P., European Research Council grant 260986 to P.J., Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council to J.-J.Z., University of Cincinnati Faculty Development Research Grant and Ohio Supercomputer Center Research Allocation to J.B.B., Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship PIOF-GA-2011–303312 to R.M.W., National Science Foundation (DEB-1257053) to J.H.W., and Swiss National Science Foundation awards 31003A-125350 and 31003A-143936 to E.M.Z. We thank Rick Santangelo for generating the full-sib mating line used in this project. Given the restriction in the number of citations, it was not possible include all publications associated with programs used in this study. As an alternative, we have provided links to websites for each program. i5k genome sequencing initiative assisting in the sequencing of the bed bug genome.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Nature Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (all)
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Unique features of a global human ectoparasite identified through sequencing of the bed bug genome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this