A journey to the origins of wasps, bees, and ants
In a study published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution, Swiss, American and French researchers conducted a comparative analysis of the genome features of the wheat stem sawfly, Cephus cinctus, an agriculturally important sawfly and an evolutionary distinctive group. Indeed, Cephus forms a distinctive lineage of sawflies that appeared early during the radiation of the Hymenoptera - the "membrane-winged" insects, which include bees, ants and wasps.
The international research effort included partners from the University of Illinois and Montana State University in the USA – regions of the North American grasslands where this sawfly is a major crop pest – and was co-led by SIB scientists from the University of Lausanne: Group Leader Robert M. Waterhouse, and members Livio Ruzzante and Maarten J. M. F. Reijnders.
Robertson HM, Waterhouse RM, et al. Genome sequence of the wheat stem sawfly, Cephus cinctus, representing an early-branching lineage of the Hymenoptera, illuminates evolution of hymenopteran chemoreceptors. Genome Biology and Evolution.