Bioscience

Aphid’s genome reflects its reproductive, symbiotic lifestyle

February 23, 2010

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Science Daily] – Aphids could be considered the “mosquitoes” of the plant world, depending on the “blood” of plants to survive. They live in symbiosis with bacteria that pass from one generation to the next, producing essential amino acids. Aphids with the same genotype can be wingless or winged. In different seasons, they develop as asexual females who produce offspring with identical genes through parthenogenesis. When temperatures drop, they can give birth to males who then fertilize the eggs laid by females.

The genome of the pea aphid, sequenced by the International Aphid Genomics Consortium, reflects these unusual characteristics and more, said Dr. Stephen Richards, assistant professor in the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center and leader of the sequencing effort. The consortium released the 464 megabyte draft genome of the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) in the current issue of PLoS Biology.

For more information: Aphid’s Genome Reflects Its Reproductive, Symbiotic Lifestyle