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Molecular evolutionary trends and biosynthesis pathways in the Oribatida revealed by the genome of Archegozetes longisetosus

Brückner, Adrian and Barnett, Austen A. and Bhat, Prashant and Antoshechkin, Igor A. and Kitchen, Sheila A. (2022) Molecular evolutionary trends and biosynthesis pathways in the Oribatida revealed by the genome of Archegozetes longisetosus. Acarologia, 62 (2). pp. 532-573. ISSN 0044-586X. doi:10.24349/pjye-gkeo.

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Oribatid mites are a specious order of microarthropods within the Chelicerata, compromising about 11,000 described species. They are ubiquitously distributed across different microhabitats in all terrestrial ecosystems around the world and were among the first animals colonizing terrestrial habitats as decomposers and scavengers. Despite their species richness and ecological importance genomic resources are lacking for oribatids. Here, we present a 143-Mb chromosome-level genome assembly of the clonal, all-female oribatid mite species Archegozetes longisetosus Aoki, a model species used by numerous laboratories for the past 30 years. Comparative genomic and transcriptional analyses revealed patterns of reduced body segmentation and loss of the segmental identity gene abd-A within Acariformes, and unexpected expression of key eye development genes in these eyeless mites across developmental stages. Consistent with their soil dwelling lifestyle, investigation of sensory genes revealed a species-specific expansion of gustatory receptors, and evidence of horizontally transferred genes related to cell wall degradation of plant and fungal matter, both components of Archegozetes’ diet. Oribatid mites are also noted for their biosynthesis capacities and biochemical diversity. Using biochemical and genomic data, we were able to delineate the backbone biosynthesis of monoterpenes, an important class of compounds found in the major exocrine gland system of Oribatida – the oil glands. Given the mite’s strength as an experimental model, the new high-quality resources provided here will serve as the foundation for molecular research in Oribatida and will enable a broader understanding of chelicerate evolution.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Brückner, Adrian0000-0002-9184-8562
Barnett, Austen A.0000-0003-4290-7594
Bhat, Prashant0000-0003-3832-4871
Antoshechkin, Igor A.0000-0002-9934-3040
Kitchen, Sheila A.0000-0003-4402-8139
Additional Information:© 2022 Brückner, Adrian; Barnett, Austen A.; Bhat, Prashant; Antoshechkin, Igor A. and Kitchen, Sheila A. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Date received: 2022-03-21; Date accepted: 2022-05-12; Date published: 2022-06-08. We thank Joe Parker for making his laboratory space and resources available to us. Michael Heethoff, Sebastian Schemlzle, Benjamin Weiss and Martin Kaltenpoth graciously allowed us to use some of their unpublished images. Roy A. Norton provided invaluable comments to the manuscript and collected the first specimens of Archegozetes longisetosus giving rise to the current laboratory strain. AB thanks Joe Aragon for his help with the figure design. This work was supported by a grant from the Caltech Center for Environmental Microbial Interactions (CEMI) to AB. AB was Simons Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation (LSRF). There are no legal restrictions on working with mites. Authors contributions: AB had the initial idea for the study; AB, AAB, PB and SAK designed research; IAA performed long-read and Hi-C sequencing and assembled the long-read genome; AB performed all other experimental work; AAB analyzed hox and life-stage specific expression data; AB analyzed chemical data; SAK and AB performed bioinformatic analyses; AB wrote the first draft of the manuscript with input from AAB, PB, and SAK; SAK revised the manuscript. All authors gave final approval for publication. Consent for publication: Not applicable. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. Data availability: Genomic and transcriptomic data generated for his project can be found on NCBI under the accession numbers PRJNA683935 and PRJNA683999. All other data that support the findings of this study have been deposited at (Brückner, 2021). Mite specimens to start an own laboratory culture can be requested from the corresponding author.
Group:Caltech Center for Environmental Microbial Interactions (CEMI)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Caltech Center for Environmental Microbial Interactions (CEMI)UNSPECIFIED
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Life Sciences Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:soil animal; terpene synthesis; horizontal gene transfer; parthenogenesis; chemoreceptors; Hox genes; model organism; RNAseq; chromosome-level assembly; Sarcoptiformes
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201214-074948609
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107054
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:14 Dec 2020 21:11
Last Modified:11 Jul 2022 20:53

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