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The evolution of opsin genes in five species of mirid bugs: duplication of long-wavelength opsins and loss of blue-sensitive opsins

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Article number66
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>26/04/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>BMC Ecology and Evolution
Issue number1
Number of pages9
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Background: Color vision and phototactic behavior based on opsins are important for the fitness of insects because of their roles in foraging and mate choice. Related topics, including the duplication and loss of opsin genes, have been well investigated in insect orders such as Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera, Odonata and Orthoptera, and the findings have been used to develop pest management strategies involving light trapping. Mirid bugs of Hemiptera, which are pests that cause heavy economic losses, show capacity for color discrimination and phototaxis. However, the opsins in mirid bugs remain uncharacterized. Herein, we examined five species to investigate the evolution of opsins in the family Miridae. Results: Using RNA-seq, we identified several contigs showing high identity with opsins, including four contigs in Apolygus lucorum and three contigs each in Adelphocoris suturalis, Adelphocoris fasciaticollis, Adelphocoris lineolatus and Nesidiocoris tenuis. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that one of these genes clustered with ultraviolet-sensitive (UV) opsins and that the others clustered with long-wavelength (LW) opsins, suggesting that duplication of LW opsins and loss of blue light-sensitive (B) opsins occurred in mirid bugs. The existence of introns in the LW opsins of mirid bugs suggested that the duplication events were DNA based. Both LW1 and LW2 opsins of mirid bugs were found to be under strong purifying selection. The LW1 opsins were significantly more highly expressed than the LW2 and UV opsins. Conclusions: We identified the opsins of mirid bugs using five selected mirid species as a representative sample. Phylogenetic analyses clustered one of the genes with UV opsins and the others with LW opsins, suggesting the occurrence of LW opsin duplication and B opsin loss during the evolution of mirid bugs. Intron detection suggested that the identified duplication event was DNA based. The evidence of strong purifying selection and the relatively high expression levels suggested that these opsins exhibit fundamental functions in mirid bugs. © 2021, The Author(s).