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Pupal brain transcriptome for Bicyclus anynana

Cite this dataset

Connahs, Heidi et al. (2022). Pupal brain transcriptome for Bicyclus anynana [Dataset]. Dryad.


Seasonal plasticity in male courtship in Bicyclus anynana butterflies is due to variation in levels of the steroid hormone 20E (20-hydroxyecdysone) during pupation. Wet season (WS) males have high levels of 20E and become active courters. Dry season (DS) males, have lower levels of 20E and reduced courtship rates, although WS courtship rates can be achieved if DS male pupae are injected with 20E at 30% of pupation. Here, we investigated the genes involved in male courtship plasticity and examine whether 20E plays an organizational role in the pupal brain that later influences the sexual behaviour of adults. We show that DS pupal brains have a 7-fold upregulation of the yellow gene relative to the WS and that knocking out yellow leads to increased male courtship. We find that injecting 20E into DS pupa reduced yellow expression although not significantly. Our results show that yellow is a repressor of the neural circuity for male courtship behaviour in B. anynana. 20E levels experienced during pupation could play an organizational role during pupal brain development by regulating yellow expression, however, other factors might also be involved. Our findings are in striking contrast to Drosophila where yellow is required for male courtship.


This dataset represents the assembled transcriptome from the pupal brain of the butterfly, Bicyclus anynana. 

This Transcriptome Shotgun Assembly project has been deposited at DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank under the accession GHRJ00000000/ GHRJ01000000.

Raw reads of the RNA-seq libraries were uploaded to the SRA database with the SRA accession number PRJNA544388.

The transcriptome was assembled from a total of 12 RNA-Seq libraries using Trinity 2.4.0

Transcripts smaller than 200 bp were screened and removed from the assembly.

Transcriptome was annotated by blasting to the Bicyclus anynana genome v1.2 on Lepbase.


National Science Foundation, Award: DDIG IOS-1110523 to AM and AB

National Research Foundation, Award: MOE2018-T2-1-092 to AM

Yale-NUS College

National Research Foundation, Award: NRF-NRFI05-2019-0006 to AM