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Accession IconSRP134094

The molecular genetic basis of herbivory between butterflies and their host-plants

Organism Icon Arabidopsis thaliana, Passiflora oerstedii, Citrus x microcarpa, Medicago sativa, Pieris rapae, Heliconius cydno, Papilio polytes, Colias eurytheme
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Technology Badge IconIllumina HiSeq 2500

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Here we use multiple genome-wide approaches to map the molecular basis of herbivory from both plant and insect perspectives, focusing on butterflies and their larval host-plants. Parallel genome-wide association studies in the Cabbage White butterfly, Pieris rapae, and its host-plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, pinpointed a small number of butterfly and plant genes that influenced herbivory. These genes, along with much of the genome, were regulated in a dynamic way over the time course of the feeding interaction. Comparative analyses, including diverse butterfly/plant systems, showed a variety of genome-wide responses to herbivory, yet a core set of highly conserved genes in butterflies as well as their host-plants. These results greatly expand our understanding of the genomic causes and evolutionary consequences of ecological interactions across two of Nature's most diverse taxa, butterflies and flowering plants.
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