Entomology, Department of



Chris R. Smith, Earlham College
Christopher D. Smith, San Francisco State University
Hugh M. Robertson, University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign
Martin Helmkampf, Arizona State University
Aleksey Zimin, University of Maryland, College Park
Mark Yandall, University of Utah
Carson Holt, University of Utah
Hao Hu, University of Utah
Ehab Abouheif, McGill University
Richard Benton, University of Lausanne
Elizabeth Cash, Arizona State University
Vincent Croset, University of Lausanne
Cameron R. Currie, DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
Eran Elhaik, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Christine G. Elsik, Georgetown UniversityFollow
Marie-Julie Favé, McGill University
Vilaiwan Fernandes, McGill University
Joshua D. Gibson, Arizona State University
Dan Graur, University of Houston - Main
Wulfila Gronenberg, University of Arizona
Kirk J. Grubbs, DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
Darren E. Hagen, Georgetown University
Ana Sofia Ibarraran Viniegra, McGill University
Brian R. Johnson, University of California, Berkeley
Reed M. Johnson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Abderrahman Khila, McGill University
Jay W. Kim, San Francisco State University
Kaitlyn A, Mathis, University of California, Berkeley
Monica C. Munoz-Torres, Georgetown University
Marguerite C. Murphy, San Francisco State University
Julie A. Mustard, Arizona State University
Rin Nakamura, San Francisco State University
Oliver Niehuis, Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany
Surabhi Nigam, San Francisco State University
Rick P. Overson, Arizona State University
Jennifer E. Placek, San Francisco State University
Rajendhran Rajakumar, McGill University
Justin T. Reese, Georgetown University
Garret Suen, DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
Shu Tao, Georgetown University
Candice W. Torres, University of California, Berkeley
Neil D. Tsutsui, University of California, Berkeley
Lumi Viljakainen, Cornell University
Florian Wolschin, Arizona State University
Jürgen Gadau, Arizona State University

Document Type


Date of this Version



PNAS, April 5, 2011, vol. 108, no. 14, pp. 5667–5672; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1007901108


US Government work.

Includes Supplemental Appendix (115 pp.)


We report the draft genome sequence of the red harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. The genome was sequenced using 454 pyrosequencing, and the current assembly and annotation were completed in less than 1 y. Analyses of conserved gene groups (more than 1,200 manually annotated genes to date) suggest a high-quality assembly and annotation comparable to recently sequenced insect genomes using Sanger sequencing. The red harvester ant is a model for studying reproductive division of labor, phenotypic plasticity, and sociogenomics. Although the genome of P. barbatus is similar to other sequenced hymenopterans (Apis mellifera and Nasonia vitripennis) in GC content and compositional organization, and possesses a complete CpG methylation toolkit, its predicted genomic CpG content differs markedly from the other hymenopterans. Gene networks involved in generating key differences betweenthe queenandworker castes (e.g.,wingsandovaries) show signatures of increased methylation and suggest that ants and bees may have independently co-opted the same gene regulatory mechanisms for reproductive division of labor. Gene family expansions (e.g., 344 functional odorant receptors) and pseudogene accumulation in chemoreception and P450 genes compared with A. mellifera and N. vitripennis are consistent with major life-history changes during the adaptive radiation of Pogonomyrmex spp., perhaps inparallel with the development of the North American deserts.

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