Hybrid genome assembly and evidence-Based annotation of the egg parasitoid and biological control agent trichogramma brassicae

Ferguson, Kim B.; Kursch-Metz, Tore; Verhulst, Eveline C.; Pannebakker, Bart A.


Trichogramma brassicae (Bezdenko) are egg parasitoids that are used throughout the world as biological control agents and in laboratories as model species. Despite this ubiquity, few genetic resources exist beyond COI, ITS2, and RAPD markers. Aided by a Wolbachia infection, a wild-caught strain from Germany was reared for low heterozygosity and sequenced in a hybrid de novo strategy, after which several assembling strategies were evaluated. The best assembly, derived from a DBG2OLC-based pipeline, yielded a genome of 235 Mbp made up of 1,572 contigs with an N50 of 556,663 bp. Following a rigorous ab initio-, homology-, and evidence-based annotation, 16,905 genes were annotated and functionally described. As an example of the utility of the genome, a simple ortholog cluster analysis was performed with sister species T. pretiosum, revealing over 6000 shared clusters and under 400 clusters unique to each species. The genome and transcriptome presented here provides an essential resource for comparative genomics of the commercially relevant genus Trichogramma, but also for research into molecular evolution, ecology, and breeding of T. brassicae.