Jonas Bush, Cynthia Webster, Jill Wegrzyn, Chris Simon, Edward Wilcox, Ruqayya Khan, David Weisz, Olga Dudchenko, Erez Lieberman Aiden, Paul Frandsen

Chromosome Level Genome Assembly and Annotation of a Periodical Cicada Species: Magicicada septendecula

  • Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Abstract We present a high-quality assembly and annotation of the periodical cicada species, Magicicada septendecula (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadidae). Periodical cicadas have a significant ecological impact, serving as a food source for many mammals, reptiles, and birds. Magicicada are well known for their massive emergences of one to three species that appear in different locations in the eastern United States nearly every year. These year classes (“broods”) emerge dependably every 13 or 17 years in a given location. Recently, it has become clear that 4-year early or late emergences of a sizeable portion of a population are an important part of the history of brood formation; however, the biological mechanisms by which they track the passage of time remain a mystery. Using PacBio HiFi reads in conjunction with Hi-C proximity ligation data, we have assembled and annotated the first whole genome for a periodical cicada, an important resource for future phylogenetic and comparative genomic analysis. This also represents the first quality genome assembly and annotation for the Hemipteran superfamily Cicadoidea. With a scaffold N50 of 518.9 Mb and a complete BUSCO score of 96.7%, we are confident that this assembly will serve as a vital resource toward uncovering the genomic basis of periodical cicadas’ long, synchronized life cycles, and will provide a robust framework for further investigations into these insects.

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