The pea aphid genome sequence is published

February 23rd, 2010

The main pea aphid genome paper is published in PLoS Biology and a set of companion papersis published in Insect Molecular Biology and other journals.  Details of the genome paper and 6 companion papers to which we contributed are provided below.
The pea aphid genome project was funded by NIH, and the sequencing was conducted at Baylor Human Genome Sequencing Center by Dr Stephen Richards and his team. Angela led the metabolism gene annotation group and transport gene annotation group; and John, Sandy, Calum and Eric played key roles in identifying aphid genes important to metabolism, transport, detoxification and plant virus transmission. Knowledge of the aphid genes and their function is already transforming our understanding of the biology of aphids. We are - at last - coming to explain in molecular terms why some aphids are important agricultural pests, especially how they depress crop yield by direct damage and by transmitting plant viruses. This is a sure basis for novel approaches to control aphid pests.
Much of our annotation work has focused on the remarkable relationship between the pea aphid and its symbiotic bacteria Buchnera aphidicola that are absolutely required for aphid growth and reproduction. These bacteria are transmitted from mother to offspring, and are found nowhere other than in aphids. By annotating the pea aphid genes, we discovered an unprecedented coupling of metabolism between the aphid and its bacteria for both amino acids and purines, the building blocks of protein and DNA. We are investigating these interactions further, with funding from NSF, BBSRC-ANR, and the Sarkaria Institute of Insect Physiology and Toxicology. Our goals are to understand how the aphid and Buchnera cooperate, and then to develop strategies to disrupt these symbiotic interactions and thereby control aphid pests. 

The International Aphid Genomics Consortium, in press. Genome sequence of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. PLoS Biology. available here

Pea aphid genome companion papers to which we contributed
Wilson ACC, Ashton PD, Calevro F, Charles H, Colella S, Febvay G, Jander G, Kushlan P, Macdonald SA, Schwartz J, Thomas GH and Douglas AE, 2010. Genomic insight into the amino acid relations of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum with its symbiotic bacterium Buchnera aphidicola. Insect Molecular Biology.
Ramsey JS, MacDonald SJ, Jander G, Nakabachi A, Thomas GH and Douglas AE, 2010. Genomic evidence for complementary purine metabolism in the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum and its symbiotic bacterium Buchnera aphidicola. Insect Molecular Biology.
Price DRG, Tibbles K, Shigenobu S, Smertenko A, Russell CW, Douglas AE, Fitches E, Gatehouse AMR and Gatehouse JA, 2010. Sugar transporters of the major facilitator superfamily in aphids; from gene prediction to functional characterisation. Insect Molecular Biology.
Wang Y, Carolan JC, Hao, F-H, Nicholson, J, Wilkinson TL and Douglas AE, 2010. Integrated metabonomic-proteomic analysis of an insect-bacterial symbiotic system. Journal of Proteome Research.
Tamborindeguy C, Monsion B, Brault V, Hunnicutt L, Ju H-J, Nakabachi A and Van Fleet E, 2010. A genomic analysis of transcytosis in the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, a mechanism involved in virus transmission. Insect Molecular Biology
Ramsey JS, Rider DS, Walsh T, de Vos M, Gordon KH, 2010. Comparative analysis of detoxification enzymes in Acyrthosiphon pisum and Myzus persicae. Insect Molecular Biology.

The volume of companion papers in Insect Molecular Biology is available here.