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Background: The stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans , is a major blood-feeding pest of livestock that has near worldwide distribution, causing an annual cost of over $2 billion for control and product loss in the United States alone. Control of these flies has been limited to increased sanitary management practices and insecticide application for suppressing larval stages. Few genetic and molecular resources are available to help in developing novel methods for controlling stable flies. Results: This study examines stable fly biology by utilizing a combination of high-quality genome sequencing, microbiome analyses, and RNA-seq analyses targeting multiple developmental stages and tissues. In conjunction, manual curation of over 1600 genes was used to examine gene content related to stable fly reproduction, interactions with their host, host-microbe dynamics, and putative routes for control. Most notable was establishment of reproduction-associated genes and identification of expanded vision, chemosensation, immune repertoire, and metabolic detoxification pathway gene families. Conclusions: The combined sequencing, assembly, and curation of the male stable fly genome followed by RNA-seq and downstream analyses provide insights necessary to understand the biology of this important pest. These resources and knowledge will provide the groundwork for expanding the tools available to control stable fly infestations. The close relationship of Stomoxys to other blood-feeding ( Glossina ) and non-blood-feeding flies (medflies, Drosophila , house flies) will allow for understanding the evolution of blood feeding among Cyclorrhapha flies.

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