Genomic signatures accompanying the dietary shift to phytophagy in polyphagan beetles.

  • publication
  • 19-05-2019

Seppey M, Ioannidis P, Emerson BC, Pitteloud C, Robinson-Rechavi M, Roux J, Escalona HE, McKenna DD, Misof B, Shin S, Zhou X, Waterhouse RM, Alvarez N. Genome Biol. 2019 05;20(1):98. 10.1186/s13059-019-1704-5. 10.1186/s13059-019-1704-5. PMC6525341.

The diversity and evolutionary success of beetles (Coleoptera) are proposed to be related to the diversity of plants on which they feed. Indeed, the largest beetle suborder, Polyphaga, mostly includes plant eaters among its approximately 315,000 species. In particular, plants defend themselves with a diversity of specialized toxic chemicals. These may impose selective pressures that drive genomic diversification and speciation in phytophagous beetles. However, evidence of changes in beetle gene repertoires driven by such interactions remains largely anecdotal and without explicit hypothesis testing.

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