J Genomics 2018; 6:41-52. doi:10.7150/jgen.24228

Research Paper

De novo Assembly of the Burying Beetle Nicrophorus orbicollis (Coleoptera: Silphidae) Transcriptome Across Developmental Stages with Identification of Key Immune Transcripts

Harim I. Won, Thomas T. Schulze#, Emalie J. Clement, Gabrielle F. Watson, Sean M. Watson, Rosalie C. Warner, Elizabeth A. M. Ramler, Elias J. Witte, Mark A. Schoenbeck, Claudia M. Rauter, Paul H. Davis

Department of Biology, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska.
#Current address: Department of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska.

Abstract

Burying beetles (Nicrophorus spp.) are among the relatively few insects that provide parental care while not belonging to the eusocial insects such as ants or bees. This behavior incurs energy costs as evidenced by immune deficits and shorter life-spans in reproducing beetles. In the absence of an assembled transcriptome, relatively little is known concerning the molecular biology of these beetles. This work details the assembly and analysis of the Nicrophorus orbicollis transcriptome at multiple developmental stages. RNA-Seq reads were obtained by next-generation sequencing and the transcriptome was assembled using the Trinity assembler. Validation of the assembly was performed by functional characterization using Gene Ontology (GO), Eukaryotic Orthologous Groups (KOG), and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analyses. Differential expression analysis highlights developmental stage-specific expression patterns, and immunity-related transcripts are discussed. The data presented provides a valuable molecular resource to aid further investigation into immunocompetence throughout this organism's sexual development.

Keywords: transcriptome, de novo assembly, immunity, parental care, burying beetle, Nicrophorus orbicollis

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How to cite this article:
Won HI, Schulze TT, Clement EJ, Watson GF, Watson SM, Warner RC, Ramler EAM, Witte EJ, Schoenbeck MA, Rauter CM, Davis PH. De novo Assembly of the Burying Beetle Nicrophorus orbicollis (Coleoptera: Silphidae) Transcriptome Across Developmental Stages with Identification of Key Immune Transcripts. J Genomics 2018; 6:41-52. doi:10.7150/jgen.24228. Available from http://www.jgenomics.com/v06p0041.htm