Brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), genome: putative underpinnings of polyphagy, insecticide resistance potential and biology of a top worldwide pest
Background Halyomorpha halys (Stål), the brown marmorated stink bug, is a highly invasive insect species due in part to its exceptionally high levels of polyphagy. This species is also a nuisance due to overwintering in human-made structures. It has caused significant agricultural losses in recent years along the Atlantic seaboard of North America and in continental Europe. Genomic resources will assist with determining the molecular basis for this species’ feeding and habitat traits, defining potential targets for pest management strategies.
Results Analysis of the 1.15-Gb draft genome assembly has identified a wide variety of genetic elements underpinning the biological characteristics of this formidable pest species, encompassing the roles of sensory functions, digestion, immunity, detoxification and development, all of which likely support H. halys’ capacity for invasiveness. Many of the genes identified herein have potential for biomolecular pesticide applications.
Conclusions Availability of the H. halys genome sequence will be useful for the development of environmentally friendly biomolecular pesticides to be applied in concert with more traditional, synthetic chemical-based controls.