Firefly genomes illuminate parallel origins of bioluminescence in beetles

Timothy R. Fallon, Sarah E. Lower, Ching Ho Chang, Manabu Bessho-Uehara, Gavin J. Martin, Adam J. Bewick, Megan Behringer, Humberto J. Debat, Isaac Wong, John C. Day, Anton Suvorov, Christian J. Silva, Kathrin F. Stanger-Hall, David W. Hall, Robert J. Schmitz, David Nelson, Sara M. Lewis, Shuji Shigenobu, Seth M. Bybee, Amanda M. Larracuente & 2 others Yuichi Oba, Jing Ke Weng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fireflies and their luminous courtships have inspired centuries of scientific study. Today firefly luciferase is widely used in biotechnology, but the evolutionary origin of bioluminescence within beetles remains unclear. To shed light on this long-standing question, we sequenced the genomes of two firefly species that diverged over 100 million-years-ago: the North American Photinus pyralis and Japanese Aquatica lateralis. To compare bioluminescent origins, we also sequenced the genome of a related click beetle, the Caribbean Ignelater luminosus, with bioluminescent biochemistry near-identical to fireflies, but anatomically unique light organs, suggesting the intriguing hypothesis of parallel gains of bioluminescence. Our analyses support independent gains of bioluminescence in fireflies and click beetles, and provide new insights into the genes, chemical defenses, and symbionts that evolved alongside their luminous lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere36495
JournaleLife
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

Fingerprint

Fireflies
Bioluminescence
Beetles
Genes
Genome
Firefly Luciferases
Biochemistry
Biotechnology
Courtship
Life Style
Light

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

Cite this

Fallon, T. R., Lower, S. E., Chang, C. H., Bessho-Uehara, M., Martin, G. J., Bewick, A. J., ... Weng, J. K. (2018). Firefly genomes illuminate parallel origins of bioluminescence in beetles. eLife, 7, [e36495]. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.36495

Firefly genomes illuminate parallel origins of bioluminescence in beetles. / Fallon, Timothy R.; Lower, Sarah E.; Chang, Ching Ho; Bessho-Uehara, Manabu; Martin, Gavin J.; Bewick, Adam J.; Behringer, Megan; Debat, Humberto J.; Wong, Isaac; Day, John C.; Suvorov, Anton; Silva, Christian J.; Stanger-Hall, Kathrin F.; Hall, David W.; Schmitz, Robert J.; Nelson, David; Lewis, Sara M.; Shigenobu, Shuji; Bybee, Seth M.; Larracuente, Amanda M.; Oba, Yuichi; Weng, Jing Ke.

In: eLife, Vol. 7, e36495, 01.10.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fallon, TR, Lower, SE, Chang, CH, Bessho-Uehara, M, Martin, GJ, Bewick, AJ, Behringer, M, Debat, HJ, Wong, I, Day, JC, Suvorov, A, Silva, CJ, Stanger-Hall, KF, Hall, DW, Schmitz, RJ, Nelson, D, Lewis, SM, Shigenobu, S, Bybee, SM, Larracuente, AM, Oba, Y & Weng, JK 2018, 'Firefly genomes illuminate parallel origins of bioluminescence in beetles', eLife, vol. 7, e36495. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.36495
Fallon TR, Lower SE, Chang CH, Bessho-Uehara M, Martin GJ, Bewick AJ et al. Firefly genomes illuminate parallel origins of bioluminescence in beetles. eLife. 2018 Oct 1;7. e36495. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.36495
Fallon, Timothy R. ; Lower, Sarah E. ; Chang, Ching Ho ; Bessho-Uehara, Manabu ; Martin, Gavin J. ; Bewick, Adam J. ; Behringer, Megan ; Debat, Humberto J. ; Wong, Isaac ; Day, John C. ; Suvorov, Anton ; Silva, Christian J. ; Stanger-Hall, Kathrin F. ; Hall, David W. ; Schmitz, Robert J. ; Nelson, David ; Lewis, Sara M. ; Shigenobu, Shuji ; Bybee, Seth M. ; Larracuente, Amanda M. ; Oba, Yuichi ; Weng, Jing Ke. / Firefly genomes illuminate parallel origins of bioluminescence in beetles. In: eLife. 2018 ; Vol. 7.
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