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Title: Expansions and contractions in gene families of independently-evolved blood-feeding insects
Author: Freitas, L.A.; Nery, M. F.
Year: 2020
Is part of: BMC EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, v. 20, p. 87 - 87

Citation: Freitas, L.A.; Nery, M. F.; Expansions and contractions in gene families of independently-evolved blood-feeding insects. BMC EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, v.20, p. 87-87, 2020

Abstract: Background The blood-feeding behavior evolved multiple times in Insecta lineages and it represents an excellent opportunity to study patterns of convergent molecular evolution regarding this habit. In insects the expansion of some gene families is linked with blood-feeding behavior, but a wide study comparing the evolution of these gene families among different lineages is still missing. Here we gathered genomic data from six independently-evolved hematophagous lineages, aiming to identify convergent expansions and/or contractions of gene families in hematophagous lineages of insects. Results We found four rapidly evolving gene families shared by at least two hematophagous independently-evolved lineages, including a heat-shock and a chemosensory protein. On the expression of these four rapidly evolving gene families we found more genes expressed in mated individuals compared with virgin individuals in rapidly-expanded families and more genes expressed in non-blood-feeding individuals compared with blood-feeding individuals in rapidly-contracted families. Conclusion Our results reveal a new set of candidate genes to be explored in further analysis to help the development of new strategies to deal with blood-feeding vectors and also presents a new perspective to study the evolution of hematophagy identifying convergent molecular patterns.

Funding: This work was supported by the Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) [Grant numbers 2017/25058-2, 2018/19682-8 and 2015/18269-1]. The funding body had no role in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in the writing of the manuscript.
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