Hemimetabolous genomes reveal molecular basis of termite eusociality

Harrison, Mark C and Jongepier, Evelien and Robertson, Hugh M and Arning, Nicolas and Bitard-Feildel, Tristan and Chao, Hsu and Childers, Christopher P and Dinh, Huyen and Doddapaneni, Harshavardhan and Dugan, Shannon and Gowin, Johannes and Greiner, Carolin and Han, Yi and Hu, Haofu and Hughes, Daniel S and Huylmans, Ann K and Kemena, Karsten and Kremer, Lukas P and Lee, Sandra L and López Ezquerra, Alberto and Mallet, Ludovic and Monroy-Kuhn, Jose M and Moser, Annabell and Murali, Shwetha C and Muzny, Donna M and Otani, Saria and Piulachs, Maria-Dolors and Poelchau, Monica and Qu, Jiaxin and Schaub, Florentine and Wada-Katsumata, Ayako and Worley, Kim C and Xie, Qiaolin and Ylla, Guillem and Poulsen, Michael and Gibbs, Richard A and Schal, Coby and Richards, Stephen and Belles, Xavier and Korb, Judith and Bornberg-Bauer, Erich G (2018) Hemimetabolous genomes reveal molecular basis of termite eusociality. Nature Ecology and Evolution. ISSN 2397334X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0459-1


Around 150 million years ago, eusocial termites evolved from within the cockroaches, 50 million years before eusocial Hymenoptera, such as bees and ants, appeared. Here, we report the 2-Gb genome of the German cockroach, Blattella germanica, and the 1.3-Gb genome of the drywood termite Cryptotermes secundus. We show evolutionary signatures of termite eusociality by comparing the genomes and transcriptomes of three termites and the cockroach against the background of 16 other eusocial and non-eusocial insects. Dramatic adaptive changes in genes underlying the production and perception of pheromones confirm the importance of chemical communication in the termites. These are accompanied by major changes in gene regulation and the molecular evolution of caste determination. Many of these results parallel molecular mechanisms of eusocial evolution in Hymenoptera. However, the specific solutions are remarkably different, thus revealing a striking case of convergence in one of the major evolutionary transitions in biological complexity.

Item Type: Article
DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0459-1
Subjects: 500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology > 576 Genetics and evolution
Research Group: Vicoso Group
SWORD Depositor: Sword Import User
Depositing User: Sword Import User
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2018 13:59
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2018 13:59
URI: https://repository.ist.ac.at/id/eprint/969

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