April 19, 2024

Genome Spotlight: Desert Locust (Schistocerca gregaria)

For years, scientists have attempted to series the desert locusts almost 9-billion-base genome in hopes of understanding “what makes a grasshopper a locust,” as University of Leicester animal biologist Swidbert Ott put it in 2020 when his group first reported a draft genome for the species. Their 51.5 Mb genome is nearly devoid of transposable aspects, with recurring series accounting for simply 7.2 percent of the genome, and includes a simple 9,707 protein-coding genes– the fewest of any arthropod sequenced therefore far. By combining long- and short-read sequencing methods with chromosome capture, they were able to generate near-chromosomal assemblies that are 17 times more adjoining than the formerly published Amur tiger genome and 1.7 times more adjoining than the referral genome for domesticated felines.

For years, scientists have attempted to series the desert locusts nearly 9-billion-base genome in hopes of understanding “what makes a grasshopper a locust,” as University of Leicester animal biologist Swidbert Ott put it in 2020 when his group first reported a draft genome for the species. For the locust, these techniques generated an 8.8 Gb genome– one of the largest insect genomes put together to date– which appears to be divided into simply 12 chromosomes. Their 51.5 Mb genome is almost devoid of transposable aspects, with repeated series accounting for simply 7.2 percent of the genome, and contains a mere 9,707 protein-coding genes– the fewest of any arthropod sequenced hence far. By integrating long- and short-read sequencing methods with chromosome capture, they were able to create near-chromosomal assemblies that are 17 times more contiguous than the formerly released Amur tiger genome and 1.7 times more adjoining than the recommendation genome for domesticated felines.