Genome assembly and annotation of the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) from India

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Genome assembly and annotation of the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) from India

Authors

Singhal, S.; Choudhary, C.; Basu, D. N.; Seal, S.; Khan, I.; Shukla, J. N.; Agashe, D.

Abstract

The largest insect order, Coleoptera, includes several economically important beetles that also serve as major model species for biological research. Perhaps foremost among these is the red flour beetle, a global pest of stored grains and flour whose genome was sequenced in 2008. However, the currently available reference genome (Tcas5.2) is incomplete, fragmented and contains many gaps, and the Y chromosome is not assembled. Here we present inTcas1, an updated genome assembly and annotation of T. castaneum collected from India, assembled using both short and long-read sequencing, and annotated using two transcriptome datasets. We report that inTcas1 has fewer gaps, less fragmentation, and many new genes and new isoforms of previously annotated genes. This new resource provides a useful update, comparison, and reference for new beetle genome assemblies. The first Y chromosome assembly for this species also provides critical data to study the evolution of insect sex chromosomes and sex determination systems.

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