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Firefly genomes illuminate parallel origins of bioluminescence in beetles

Fallon, Timothy R.; Lower, Sarah E.; Chang, Ching-Ho; Bessho-Uehara, Manabu; Martin, Gavin J.; Bewick, Adam J.; Behringer, Megan; Debat, Humberto J.; Wong, Isaac; Day, John C.; Suvorov, Anton; Silva, Christian J.; Stanger-Hall, Kathrin F.; Hall, David W.; Schmitz, Robert J.; Nelson, David R.; Lewis, Sara M.; Shigenobu, Shuji; Bybee, Seth M.; Larracuente, Amanda M.; Oba, Yuichi; Weng, Jing-Ke. 2018 Firefly genomes illuminate parallel origins of bioluminescence in beetles. eLife, 7, e36495. 146, pp. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.36495

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Abstract/Summary

Fireflies and their luminous courtships have inspired centuries of scientific study. Today firefly luciferase is widely used in biotechnology, but the evolutionary origin of bioluminescence within beetles remains unclear. To shed light on this long-standing question, we sequenced the genomes of two firefly species that diverged over 100 million-years-ago: the North American Photinus pyralis and Japanese Aquatica lateralis. To compare bioluminescent origins, we also sequenced the genome of a related click beetle, the Caribbean Ignelater luminosus, with bioluminescent biochemistry near-identical to fireflies, but anatomically unique light organs, suggesting the intriguing hypothesis of parallel gains of bioluminescence. Our analyses support independent gains of bioluminescence in fireflies and click beetles, and provide new insights into the genes, chemical defenses, and symbionts that evolved alongside their luminous lifestyle.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.36495
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2050-084X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Biology and Microbiology
Data and Information
Date made live: 22 Oct 2018 16:10 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/521276

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