Draft genome of the red harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus.
Smith CR., Smith CD., Robertson HM., Helmkampf M., Zimin A., Yandell M., Holt C., Hu H., Abouheif E., Benton R., Cash E., Croset V., Currie CR., Elhaik E., Elsik CG., Favé M-J., Fernandes V., Gibson JD., Graur D., Gronenberg W., Grubbs KJ., Hagen DE., Viniegra ASI., Johnson BR., Johnson RM., Khila A., Kim JW., Mathis KA., Munoz-Torres MC., Murphy MC., Mustard JA., Nakamura R., Niehuis O., Nigam S., Overson RP., Placek JE., Rajakumar R., Reese JT., Suen G., Tao S., Torres CW., Tsutsui ND., Viljakainen L., Wolschin F., Gadau J.
We report the draft genome sequence of the red harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. The genome was sequenced using 454 pyrosequencing, and the current assembly and annotation were completed in less than 1 y. Analyses of conserved gene groups (more than 1,200 manually annotated genes to date) suggest a high-quality assembly and annotation comparable to recently sequenced insect genomes using Sanger sequencing. The red harvester ant is a model for studying reproductive division of labor, phenotypic plasticity, and sociogenomics. Although the genome of P. barbatus is similar to other sequenced hymenopterans (Apis mellifera and Nasonia vitripennis) in GC content and compositional organization, and possesses a complete CpG methylation toolkit, its predicted genomic CpG content differs markedly from the other hymenopterans. Gene networks involved in generating key differences between the queen and worker castes (e.g., wings and ovaries) show signatures of increased methylation and suggest that ants and bees may have independently co-opted the same gene regulatory mechanisms for reproductive division of labor. Gene family expansions (e.g., 344 functional odorant receptors) and pseudogene accumulation in chemoreception and P450 genes compared with A. mellifera and N. vitripennis are consistent with major life-history changes during the adaptive radiation of Pogonomyrmex spp., perhaps in parallel with the development of the North American deserts.