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Putting hornets on the genomic map

Favreau, Emeline; Cini, Alessandro; Taylor, Daisy; Ferreira, Francisco Câmara; Bentley, Michael; Cappa, Federico; Cervo, Rita; ... Sumner, Seirian; + view all (2023) Putting hornets on the genomic map. Scientific Reports , 13 , Article 6232. 10.1038/s41598-023-31932-x. Green open access

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Abstract

Hornets are the largest of the social wasps, and are important regulators of insect populations in their native ranges. Hornets are also very successful as invasive species, with often devastating economic, ecological and societal effects. Understanding why these wasps are such successful invaders is critical to managing future introductions and minimising impact on native biodiversity. Critical to the management toolkit is a comprehensive genomic resource for these insects. Here we provide the annotated genomes for two hornets, Vespa crabro and Vespa velutina. We compare their genomes with those of other social Hymenoptera, including the northern giant hornet Vespa mandarinia. The three hornet genomes show evidence of selection pressure on genes associated with reproduction, which might facilitate the transition into invasive ranges. Vespa crabro has experienced positive selection on the highest number of genes, including those putatively associated with molecular binding and olfactory systems. Caste-specific brain transcriptomic analysis also revealed 133 differentially expressed genes, some of which are associated with olfactory functions. This report provides a spring-board for advancing our understanding of the evolution and ecology of hornets, and opens up opportunities for using molecular methods in the future management of both native and invasive populations of these over-looked insects.

Type: Article
Title: Putting hornets on the genomic map
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-31932-x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-31932-x
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10166826
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