Chromosomal scale assembly of parasitic wasp genome reveals symbiotic virus colonization

Jérémy Gauthier, Hélène Boulain, Joke J.F.A. van Vugt, Lyam Baudry, Emma Persyn, Jean Marc Aury, Benjamin Noel, Anthony Bretaudeau, Fabrice Legeai, Sven Warris, Mohamed A. Chebbi, Géraldine Dubreuil, Bernard Duvic, Natacha Kremer, Philippe Gayral, Karine Musset, Thibaut Josse, Diane Bigot, Christophe Bressac, Sébastien MoreauGeorges Periquet, Myriam Harry, Nicolas Montagné, Isabelle Boulogne, Mahnaz Sabeti-Azad, Martine Maïbèche, Thomas Chertemps, Frédérique Hilliou, David Siaussat, Joëlle Amselem, Isabelle Luyten, Claire Capdevielle-Dulac, Karine Labadie, Bruna Laís Merlin, Valérie Barbe, Jetske G. de Boer, Martial Marbouty, Fernando Luis Cônsoli, Stéphane Dupas, Aurélie Hua-Van, Gaelle Le Goff, Annie Bézier, Emmanuelle Jacquin-Joly, James B. Whitfield, Louise E.M. Vet, Hans M. Smid, Laure Kaiser, Romain Koszul, Elisabeth Huguet, Elisabeth A. Herniou, Jean Michel Drezen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Endogenous viruses form an important proportion of eukaryote genomes and a source of novel functions. How large DNA viruses integrated into a genome evolve when they confer a benefit to their host, however, remains unknown. Bracoviruses are essential for the parasitism success of parasitoid wasps, into whose genomes they integrated ~103 million years ago. Here we show, from the assembly of a parasitoid wasp genome at a chromosomal scale, that bracovirus genes colonized all ten chromosomes of Cotesia congregata. Most form clusters of genes involved in particle production or parasitism success. Genomic comparison with another wasp, Microplitis demolitor, revealed that these clusters were already established ~53 mya and thus belong to remarkably stable genomic structures, the architectures of which are evolutionary constrained. Transcriptomic analyses highlight temporal synchronization of viral gene expression without resulting in immune gene induction, suggesting that no conflicts remain between ancient symbiotic partners when benefits to them converge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104
JournalCommunications biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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