De Novo Genome Assembly of the Meadow Brown Butterfly, Maniola jurtina

G3 (Bethesda). 2020 May 4;10(5):1477-1484. doi: 10.1534/g3.120.401071.


Meadow brown butterflies (Maniola jurtina) on the Isles of Scilly represent an ideal model in which to dissect the links between genotype, phenotype and long-term patterns of selection in the wild - a largely unfulfilled but fundamental aim of modern biology. To meet this aim, a clear description of genotype is required. Here we present the draft genome sequence of M. jurtina to serve as a founding genetic resource for this species. Seven libraries were constructed using pooled DNA from five wild caught spotted females and sequenced using Illumina, PacBio RSII and MinION technology. A novel hybrid assembly approach was employed to generate a final assembly with an N50 of 214 kb (longest scaffold 2.9 Mb). The sequence assembly described here predicts a gene count of 36,294 and includes variants and gene duplicates from five genotypes. Core BUSCO (Benchmarking Universal Single-Copy Orthologs) gene sets of Arthropoda and Insecta recovered 90.5% and 88.7% complete and single-copy genes respectively. Comparisons with 17 other Lepidopteran species placed 86.5% of the assembled genes in orthogroups. Our results provide the first high-quality draft genome and annotation of the butterfly M. jurtina.

Keywords: Genome assembly; Lepidoptera; Maniola jurtina; comparative genomics; meadow brown.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Butterflies* / genetics
  • Female
  • Genome
  • Grassland
  • Insecta
  • Phenotype