An overview of arthropod genomics, mitogenomics, and the evolutionary origins of the arthropod proteome

Davide Pisani*, Robert Carton, Lahcen I. Campbell, Wasiu A. Akanni, Eoin Mulville, Omar Rota-Stabelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

15 Citations (Scopus)


Arthropods represent the largest majority of animal biodiversity and include organisms of economic interest and key model species. It is thus unsurprising that the genome of an arthropod, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, was among the very first to be sequenced (Adams et al. 2000) and that to date, about 21 Drosophila genomes as well as a variety of other arthropod genomes have been sequenced. Despite this promising start, current sampling is biased towards economically relevant species, and a suitable close outgroup to the arthropods, which is necessary to polarise genomic studies, is still missing. Among the suitable outgroups to the Arthropoda, the Nematoda represent one of the largest components of the extant animal biomass, and their economic importance is comparable to that of the more biodiverse arthropods. As with the Arthropoda, the importance of the nematodes is reflected in the fact that the very first animal genome to be sequenced was that of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (The C. elegans genome consortium 1998). Despite the nematodes being phylogenetically close to the arthropods (Aguinaldo et al. 1997; Copley et al. 2004; Dopazo and Dopazo 2005; Philippe et al. 2005; Irimia et al. 2007; Roy and Irimia 2008; Dunn et al. 2008; Belinky et al. 2010; Hejnol et al. 2009; Holton and Pisani 2010), this group is composed of highly derived species, both genetically and morphologically. Accordingly, their genomes are unlikely to be of great utility in understanding arthropod genome evolution. Some genomic data (mostly in the form of transcriptomes) are now available for other smaller ecdysozoan phyla, and some genomes (Priapulida and Tardigrada) are on the horizon. Nonetheless, enough genomic information is now available for the Arthropoda (Table 3.1) to justify an investigation into the evolution of their genome. Such an analysis, however, is intimately dependent on the availability of a robust phylogenetic background, and to a lesser extent, robust divergence times for the nodes in the background phylogeny. Table 3.1 The most important of the available Arthropod genomes Species Genome size (Mb) GC (%) Chromosomes Genes Transcripts Chelicerata Acari-Acariformes Tetranychus urticae 89.6 32.3 N/A N/A 18,414 Chelicerata Acari-Parasitiformes Ixodes scapularis 1,896.32 45.5 15 7,112 5,867 Myriapoda Chilopoda Strigamia maritima 173.61 35.7 N/A N/A N/A Crustacea Branchiopoda Daphnia pulex 158.62 40.8 N/A 30,613 30,611 Hexapoda Phthiraptera Pediculus humanus 108.37 27.5 N/A 10,993 10,775 Hexapoda Coleoptera Tribolium castaneum 210.27 38.4 10 10,132 9,833 Hexapoda Hemiptera Acyrthosiphon pisum 464 29.6 4 N/A 11,089 Hexapoda Hymenoptera Apis mellifera 250.29 16 N/A N/A Hexapoda Lepidoptera Bombyx mori 431.75 37.7 28 N/A N/A Hexapoda Lepidoptera Heliconius melpomene 269 21 12,669 N/A Hexapoda Diptera Drosophila melanogaster 139.73 42.2 6 15,431 24,113 Hexapoda Diptera Aedes aegypti 1,310.11 38.3 3 16,684 16,785 Hexapoda Diptera Anopheles gambiae 265.03 44.5 5 13,240 14,099 N/A not available. All the values in the table were obtained either from the NCBI website or from the original genome paper

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArthropod Biology and Evolution: Molecules, Development, Morphology
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9783642361609, 3642361595, 9783642361593
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013


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