The genetic basis of wing spots in Pieris canidia butterflies.

Wee JLQ, Murugesan SN, Wheat CW, Monteiro A

BMC Genomics 24 (1) 169 [2023-04-04; online 2023-04-04]

Spots in pierid butterflies and eyespots in nymphalid butterflies are likely non-homologous wing colour pattern elements, yet they share a few features in common. Both develop black scales that depend on the function of the gene spalt, and both might have central signalling cells. This suggests that both pattern elements may be sharing common genetic circuitry. Hundreds of genes have already been associated with the development of nymphalid butterfly eyespot patterns, but the genetic basis of the simpler spot patterns on the wings of pierid butterflies has not been investigated. To facilitate studies of pierid wing patterns, we report a high-quality draft genome assembly for Pieris canidia, the Indian cabbage white. We then conducted transcriptomic analyses of pupal wing tissues sampled from the spot and non-spot regions of P. canidia at 3-6 h post-pupation. A total of 1352 genes were differentially regulated between wing tissues with and without the black spot, including spalt, Krüppel-like factor 10, genes from the Toll, Notch, TGF-β, and FGFR signalling pathways, and several genes involved in the melanin biosynthetic pathway. We identified 14 genes that are up-regulated in both pierid spots and nymphalid eyespots and propose that spots and eyespots share regulatory modules despite their likely independent origins.

NGI Long read [Service]

NGI Short read [Service]

NGI Stockholm (Genomics Production) [Service]

National Genomics Infrastructure [Service]

PubMed 37016295

DOI 10.1186/s12864-023-09261-0

Crossref 10.1186/s12864-023-09261-0

pmc: PMC10074818
pii: 10.1186/s12864-023-09261-0

Publications 9.5.0