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A highly contiguous genome assembly of a major forest pest, the Eurasian spruce bark beetle Ips typographus

By Daniel Powell, Ewald Grosse-Wilde, Paal Krokene, Amit Roy, Amrita Chakraborty, Christer Löfstedt, Heiko Vogel, Martin N. Andersson, Fredrik N. Schlyter

Posted 28 Nov 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.28.401976

The Eurasian spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus [L.]), is a major killer of spruce forests across the Palearctic. During epidemics, it can destroy over 100 million cubic meters of spruce trees in a single year. Here we report a 236 Mb, highly contiguous I. typographus genome assembly using PacBio long-read sequencing. The final phased assembly had a contig N50 of 6.65 Mb in 272 contigs and was predicted to contain 23,923 protein-coding genes. Comparative genomic analysis revealed expanded gene families associated with plant cell wall degradation, including pectinases, aspartyl proteases, and glycosyl hydrolases. In today's forests, increasingly stressed by global warming, this resource can assist in mitigating bark beetle outbreaks by developing novel pest control strategies. Further, this first whole-genome sequence from the genus Ips provides timely resources to address important questions about the evolutionary biology and ecology of Curculionidae, the true weevils, one of the largest animal families.

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