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Rhagoletis cingulata and Rhagoletis cerasi genome comparison

Cite this dataset

Wolfe, Thomas et al. (2021). Rhagoletis cingulata and Rhagoletis cerasi genome comparison [Dataset]. Dryad.


Wolbachia is a maternally inherited obligate endosymbiont that can induce a wide spectrum of effects in its host, ranging from mutualism to reproductive parasitism. At the genomic level, recombination within and between strains, transposable elements, and horizontal transfer of strains between host species make Wolbachia an evolutionarily dynamic bacterial system. The invasive cherry fruit fly Rhagoletis cingulata arrived in Europe from North America ~40 years ago, where it now co-occurs with the native cherry pest R. cerasi. This shared distribution has been proposed to have led to the horizontal transfer of different Wolbachia strains between the two species. To better understand transmission dynamics, we performed a comparative genome study of the strain wCin2 in native United States and invasive European populations of R. cingulata with wCer2 in European R. cerasi. Previous multilocus sequence genotyping (MLST) of six genes implied that the source of wCer2 in R. cerasi was wCin2 from R. cingulata. However, we report genomic evidence discounting the recent horizontal transfer hypothesis for the origin of wCer2. Despite near identical sequences for the MLST markers, substantial sequence differences for other loci were found between wCer2 and wCin2, as well as structural rearrangements, and differences in prophage, repetitive element, gene content, and cytoplasmic incompatibility inducing genes. Our study highlights the need for whole-genome sequencing rather than relying on MLST markers for resolving Wolbachia strains and assessing their evolutionary dynamics, and calls for additional studies of wCer2 to determine its origin and history in R. cerasi.


The dataset represents analyses performed on Rhagoletis cerasi and Rhagoletis cingulata flies, using Nanopore, PaBio, and Illumina sequencing. The main plots were performed with circos.


FWF, Award: P30456-B29

FWF, Award: P30957-B29

FWF, Award: P30456-B29