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First chromosome scale genomes of ithomiine butterflies (Nymphalidae: Ithomiini): comparative models for mimicry genetic studies
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  • Jérémy GAUTHIER,
  • Joana Meier,
  • Fabrice Legeai,
  • Melanie McClure,
  • Annabel Whibley,
  • Anthony Bretaudeau,
  • Hélène Boulain,
  • Hugues Parrinello,
  • Sam Mugford,
  • Richard Durbin,
  • Chenxi Zhou,
  • Shane McCarthy,
  • Christopher Wheat,
  • Florence Piron-Prunier,
  • Christelle Monsempes,
  • Marie-Christine François,
  • Paul Jay,
  • Camille Nous,
  • Emma Persyn,
  • Emmanuelle Jacquin-Joly,
  • Camille Meslin,
  • Nicolas Montagné,
  • Claire Lemaitre,
  • Marianne Elias
Jérémy GAUTHIER
Muséum d'histoire naturelle de la Ville de Genève
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Joana Meier
University of Cambridge
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Fabrice Legeai
BIPAA, IGEPP, INRAE, Institut Agro, Univ Rennes
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Melanie McClure
Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité, ISYEB - UMR 7205 – CNRS MNHN UPMC EPHE, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Sorbonne Universités
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Annabel Whibley
The University of Auckland School of Biological Sciences
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Anthony Bretaudeau
BIPAA, IGEPP, INRAE, Institut Agro, Univ Rennes
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Hélène Boulain
University of Lausanne Department of Ecology and Evolution
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Hugues Parrinello
CNRS
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Sam Mugford
John Innes Centre
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Richard Durbin
University of Cambridge
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Chenxi Zhou
University of Cambridge
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Shane McCarthy
University of Cambridge
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Christopher Wheat
Stockholm University
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Florence Piron-Prunier
Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité, ISYEB - UMR 7205 – CNRS MNHN UPMC EPHE, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Sorbonne Universités
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Christelle Monsempes
Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Paris, Sorbonne Université, INRAE, CNRS, IRD, UPEC, Université de Paris
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Marie-Christine François
Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Paris, Sorbonne Université, INRAE, CNRS, IRD, UPEC, Université de Paris
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Paul Jay
Ecologie Systématique Evolution, Bâtiment 360, CNRS, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay
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Camille Nous
Laboratoire Cogitamus
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Emma Persyn
Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Paris, Sorbonne Université, INRAE, CNRS, IRD, UPEC, Université de Paris
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Emmanuelle Jacquin-Joly
Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Paris, Sorbonne Université, INRAE, CNRS, IRD, UPEC, Université de Paris
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Camille Meslin
Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Paris, Sorbonne Université, INRAE, CNRS, IRD, UPEC, Université de Paris
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Nicolas Montagné
Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Paris, Sorbonne Université, INRAE, CNRS, IRD, UPEC, Université de Paris
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Claire Lemaitre
Univ Rennes, Inria, CNRS, IRISA
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Marianne Elias
Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité, ISYEB - UMR 7205 – CNRS MNHN UPMC EPHE, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Sorbonne Universités
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Abstract

The ithomiine butterflies (Nymphalidae: Danainae) represent the largest known radiation of Mullerian mimetic butterflies. They dominate by number the mimetic butterfly communities, which include species such as the iconic neotropical Heliconius genus. Despite recent studies carried out on ithomiine ecology and genetic structure, no reference genome was available for the tribe. Here, we generated high-quality, chromosome-scale genome assemblies of two Melinaea species, Melinaea marsaeus and Melinaea menophilus, and a draft genome of Ithomia salapia. We obtained genomes with a size ranging from 396 Mb to 503 Mb across the three species and scaffold N50 of 40.5 Mb and 23.2 Mb for the two chromosome-scale assemblies. Using collinearity analyses we identified massive rearrangements between the two closely related Melinaea species. A detailed annotation of transposable elements and genes was performed, resulting in the identification of 24,341, 31,081 and 31,976 genes in I. salapia, M. marsaeus and M. menophilus, respectively. We used a specialist annotation to target chemosensory genes, which is crucial for host plant detection and mate recognition in mimetic species. A comparative genomic approach revealed independent gene expansions in ithomiines and particularly in gustatory receptor genes. These first three genomes of ithomiine mimetic butterflies constitute a valuable addition and a welcome comparison to existing biological models of mimicry, such as Heliconius, and will enable further understanding of the mechanisms of adaptation and the genetic bases underpinning mimicry.
09 Jun 2022Submitted to Molecular Ecology Resources
22 Jun 2022Assigned to Editor
22 Jun 2022Submission Checks Completed
23 Jun 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned