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  1. Abstract Gene regulatory elements are central drivers of phenotypic variation and thus of critical importance towards understanding the genetics of complex traits. The Functional Annotation of Animal Genomes consortium was formed to collaboratively annotate the functional elements in animal genomes, starting with domesticated animals. Here we present an expansive collection of datasets from eight diverse tissues in three important agricultural species: chicken ( Gallus gallus ), pig ( Sus scrofa ), and cattle ( Bos taurus ). Comparative analysis of these datasets and those from the human and mouse Encyclopedia of DNA Elements projects reveal that a core set of regulatory elements are functionally conserved independent of divergence between species, and that tissue-specific transcription factor occupancy at regulatory elements and their predicted target genes are also conserved. These datasets represent a unique opportunity for the emerging field of comparative epigenomics, as well as the agricultural research community, including species that are globally important food resources.
  2. Abstract Background

    The stable fly,Stomoxys calcitrans, is a major blood-feeding pest of livestock that has near worldwide distribution, causing an annual cost of over $2 billion for control and product loss in the USA alone. Control of these flies has been limited to increased sanitary management practices and insecticide application for suppressing larval stages. Few genetic and molecular resources are available to help in developing novel methods for controlling stable flies.

    Results

    This study examines stable fly biology by utilizing a combination of high-quality genome sequencing and RNA-Seq analyses targeting multiple developmental stages and tissues. In conjunction, 1600 genes were manually curated to characterize genetic features related to stable fly reproduction, vector host interactions, host-microbe dynamics, and putative targets for control. Most notable was characterization of genes associated with reproduction and identification of expanded gene families with functional associations to vision, chemosensation, immunity, and metabolic detoxification pathways.

    Conclusions

    The combined sequencing, assembly, and curation of the male stable fly genome followed by RNA-Seq and downstream analyses provide insights necessary to understand the biology of this important pest. These resources and new data will provide the groundwork for expanding the tools available to control stable fly infestations. The close relationship ofStomoxysto other blood-feeding (hornmore »flies andGlossina) and non-blood-feeding flies (house flies, medflies,Drosophila) will facilitate understanding of the evolutionary processes associated with development of blood feeding among the Cyclorrhapha.

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