Coleoptera genome and transcriptome sequences reveal numerous differences in neuropeptide signaling between species

PeerJ. 2019 Jun 17:7:e7144. doi: 10.7717/peerj.7144. eCollection 2019.


Background: Insect neuropeptides are interesting for the potential their receptors hold as plausible targets for a novel generation of pesticides. Neuropeptide genes have been identified in a number of different species belonging to a variety of insects. Results suggest significant neuropeptide variation between different orders, but much less is known of neuropeptidome variability within an insect order. I therefore compared the neuropeptidomes of a number of Coleoptera.

Methodology: Publicly available genome sequences, transcriptomes and the original sequence data in the form of short sequence read archives were analyzed for the presence or absence of genes coding neuropeptides as well as some neuropeptide receptors in seventeen beetle species.

Results: Significant differences exist between the Coleoptera analyzed here, while many neuropeptides that were previously characterized from Tribolium castaneum appear very similar in all species, some are not and others are lacking in one or more species. On the other hand, leucokinin, which was presumed to be universally absent from Coleoptera, is still present in non-Polyphaga beetles.

Conclusion: The variability in neuropeptidome composition between species from the same insect order may be as large as the one that exists between species from different orders.

Keywords: Beetle; CCHamide; Gene duplication; Gene loss; Genome; Neuropeptide; Neuropeptide F; Transcriptome.

Grants and funding

The author’s supported by institutional funding from the CNRS. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.