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Keywords:

  • Aedes albopictus;
  • diapause;
  • next-generation sequencing;
  • transcriptome

Abstract

Diapause has long been recognized as a crucial ecological adaptation to spatio-temporal environmental variation. More recently, rapid evolution of the diapause response has been implicated in response to contemporary global warming and during the range expansion of invasive species. Although the molecular regulation of diapause remains largely unresolved, rapidly emerging next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies provide exciting opportunities for addressing this longstanding question. In the present study, a new assembly from life-history stages relevant to diapause in the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus (Skuse) is reported, along with unique methods for the analysis of NGS data and transcriptome assembly. A digital normalization procedure that significantly reduces the computational resources required for transcriptome assembly is evaluated. Additionally, a method for protein reference-based and genomic reference-based merged assembly of 454 and Illumina reads is described. Finally, a gene ontology analysis is presented, which creates a platform for identifying the physiological processes associated with diapause. Taken together, these methods provide valuable tools for analyzing the transcriptional underpinnings of many complex phenotypes, including diapause, and provide a basis for determining the molecular regulation of diapause in Ae. albopictus.