Chromosome-level genome assembly and population genomic analyses provide insights into adaptive evolution of the red turpentine beetle, Dendroctonus valens

Zhudong Liu, Longsheng Xing, Wanlong Huang, Bo Liu, Fanghao Wan, Kenneth F. Raffa, Richard W. Hofstetter, Wanqiang Qian, Jianghua Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Biological invasions are responsible for substantial environmental and economic losses. The red turpentine beetle (RTB), Dendroctonus valens LeConte, is an important invasive bark beetle from North America that has caused substantial tree mortality in China. The lack of a high-quality reference genome seriously limits deciphering the extent to which genetic adaptions resulted in a secondary pest becoming so destructive in its invaded area. Results: Here, we present a 322.41 Mb chromosome-scale reference genome of RTB, of which 98% of assembled sequences are anchored onto fourteen linkage groups including the X chromosome with a N50 size of 24.36 Mb, which is significantly greater than other Coleoptera species. Repetitive sequences make up 45.22% of the genome, which is higher than four other Coleoptera species, i.e., Mountain pine beetle Dendroctonus ponderosae, red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum, blister beetle Hycleus cichorii, and Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata. We identify rapidly expanded gene families and positively selected genes in RTB, which may be responsible for its rapid environmental adaptation. Population genetic structure of RTB was revealed by genome resequencing of geographic populations in native and invaded regions, suggesting substantial divergence of the North American population and illustrates the possible invasion and spread route in China. Selective sweep analysis highlighted the enhanced ability of Chinese populations in environmental adaptation. Conclusions: Overall, our high-quality reference genome represents an important resource for genomics study of invasive bark beetles, which will facilitate the functional study and decipher mechanism underlying invasion success of RTB by integrating the Pinus tabuliformis genome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number190
JournalBMC Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Adaptive evolution
  • Biological invasion
  • Genomics
  • Population genetic structure
  • Red turpentine beetle
  • Selective sweep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Structural Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Plant Science
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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