Background: Altica (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) is a highly diverse and taxonomically challenging flea beetle genus that has been used to address questions related to host plant specialization, reproductive isolation, and ecological speciation. To further evolutionary studies in this interesting group, here we present a draft genome of a representative specialist, Altica viridicyanea, the first Alticinae genome reported thus far. Results: The genome is 864.8 Mb and consists of 4490 scaffolds with a N50 size of 557 kb, which covered 98.6% complete and 0.4% partial insect Benchmarking Universal Single-Copy Orthologs. Repetitive sequences accounted for 62.9% of the assembly, and a total of 17,730 protein-coding gene models and 2462 non-coding RNA models were predicted. To provide insight into host plant specialization of this monophagous species, we examined the key gene families involved in chemosensation, detoxification of plant secondary chemistry, and plant cell wall-degradation. Conclusions: The genome assembled in this work provides an important resource for further studies on host plant adaptation and functionally affiliated genes. Moreover, this work also opens the way for comparative genomics studies among closely related Altica species, which may provide insight into the molecular evolutionary processes that occur during ecological speciation.
- Host plant adaption
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