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This content will become publicly available on February 22, 2023

Title: Population differentiation and structural variation in the Manduca sexta genome across the United States
Abstract Many species that are extensively studied in the laboratory are less well characterized in their natural habitat, and laboratory strains represent only a small fraction of the variation in a species’ genome. Here we investigate genomic variation in 3 natural North American populations of an agricultural pest and a model insect for many scientific disciplines, the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta). We show that hornworms from Arizona, Kansas, and North Carolina are genetically distinct, with Arizona being particularly differentiated from the other 2 populations using Illumina whole-genome resequencing. Peaks of differentiation exist across the genome, but here, we focus in on the most striking regions. In particular, we identify 2 likely segregating inversions found in the Arizona population. One inversion on the Z chromosome may enhance adaptive evolution of the sex chromosome. The larger, 8 Mb inversion on chromosome 12 contains a pseudogene which may be involved in the exploitation of a novel hostplant in Arizona, but functional genetic assays will be required to support this hypothesis. Nevertheless, our results reveal undiscovered natural variation and provide useful genomic data for both pest management and evolutionary genetics of this insect species.
Whitehead, A
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G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics
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National Science Foundation
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