De novo assembly of the olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae) genome with linked-reads and long-read technologies minimizes gaps and provides exceptional Y chromosome assembly

BMC Genomics. 2020 Mar 30;21(1):259. doi: 10.1186/s12864-020-6672-3.


Background: The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae, is the most important pest in the olive fruit agribusiness industry. This is because female flies lay their eggs in the unripe fruits and upon hatching the larvae feed on the fruits thus destroying them. The lack of a high-quality genome and other genomic and transcriptomic data has hindered progress in understanding the fly's biology and proposing alternative control methods to pesticide use.

Results: Genomic DNA was sequenced from male and female Demokritos strain flies, maintained in the laboratory for over 45 years. We used short-, mate-pair-, and long-read sequencing technologies to generate a combined male-female genome assembly (GenBank accession GCA_001188975.2). Genomic DNA sequencing from male insects using 10x Genomics linked-reads technology followed by mate-pair and long-read scaffolding and gap-closing generated a highly contiguous 489 Mb genome with a scaffold N50 of 4.69 Mb and L50 of 30 scaffolds (GenBank accession GCA_001188975.4). RNA-seq data generated from 12 tissues and/or developmental stages allowed for genome annotation. Short reads from both males and females and the chromosome quotient method enabled identification of Y-chromosome scaffolds which were extensively validated by PCR.

Conclusions: The high-quality genome generated represents a critical tool in olive fruit fly research. We provide an extensive RNA-seq data set, and genome annotation, critical towards gaining an insight into the biology of the olive fruit fly. In addition, elucidation of Y-chromosome sequences will advance our understanding of the Y-chromosome's organization, function and evolution and is poised to provide avenues for sterile insect technique approaches.

Keywords: Bactrocera oleae; Insect developmental genes; Linked reads; Long reads; Olive fruit fly genome; Y chromosome assembly.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Genome, Insect / genetics
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tephritidae / genetics*
  • Y Chromosome / genetics*
  • Y Chromosome / metabolism*