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Structure and evolution of repetitive DNAs on Lepidoptera species and their relationship with karyotypic and sex chromosome diversification

Grant number: 23/02581-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2023 - September 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal Investigator:Diogo Cavalcanti Cabral de Mello
Grantee:Diogo Cavalcanti Cabral de Mello
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Alberto Soares Corrêa ; Diogo Milani ; Frantisek Marec ; Magda Zrzava ; Octavio Manuel Palacios Gimenez ; Pablo Mora Ruiz ; Pedro Lorite Martínez ; Teresa Palomeque Messia ; Vanessa Bellini Bardella

Abstract

The order Lepidoptera, with about 160,000 described species, has a great ecological and chromosomal diversity, representing an excellent model for studies of genomic organization and evolution of repetitive DNAs and their relationship with karyotypic evolution. In addition, this group is extremely important from economic point of view, as several species are pests in the agricultural environment, including crops in Brazil. Although many species are economically relevant, with high potential for adaptability and radiation in agricultural systems, knowledge about the genomic organization of repetitive DNAs in this group is still incipient. In this project, species were selected as a model to study several aspects of repetitive DNAs and chromosomal and genomic diversification in Lepidoptera, including: (i) the organization and evolution of this DNA fraction in species with conserved karyotypes; (ii) relationship between large blocks of unusual heterochromatin in Lepidoptera, with extensive chromosomal variation and speciation; (iii) understanding the impact of repetitive DNAs on the diversification of neo-sex chromosomes; (iv) understand in details the organization of satDNA in species with small genomes and holocentric chromosomes. For this, modern methods in cytogenetics, genomics and computational analysis will be associated, detailing the karyotype and sex chromosomes with emphasis on the organization of repetitive DNAs in the genomes of selected species, to address the questions formulated. It is noteworthy that in addition to the basic knowledge that will be generated in this project, our data will help in the assembly of genomes in the studied species, contributing to the understanding of their chromosomal-evolutionary patterns that may be useful for future control programs of pest species. (AU)

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