Apolygus lucorum genome provides insights into omnivorousness and mesophyll feeding

      Apolygus lucorum (Miridae) is an omnivorous pest that occurs worldwide and is notorious for the serious damage it causes to various crops and substantial economic losses. Although some studies have examined the biological characteristics of the mirid bug, no reference genome is available in Miridae, limiting in-depth studies of this pest. Here, we present a chromosome-scale reference genome of A. lucorum, the first sequenced Miridae species. The assembled genome size was 1.02 Gb with a contig N50 of 785 kb. With Hi-C scaffolding, 1,016 Mb contig sequences were clustered, ordered and assembled into 17 large scaffolds with scaffold N50 length 68 Mb, each corresponding to a natural chromosome. Numerous transposable elements occur in this genome and contribute to the large genome size. Expansions of genes associated with omnivorousness and mesophyll feeding such as those related to digestion, chemosensory perception, and detoxification were observed in A. lucorum, suggesting that gene expansion contributed to its strong environmental adaptability and severe harm to crops. We clarified that a salivary enzyme polygalacturonase is unique in mirid bugs and has significantly expanded in A. lucorum, which may contribute to leaf damage from this pest. The reference genome of A. lucorum not only facilitates biological studies of Hemiptera as well as an understanding of the damage mechanism of mesophyll feeding, but also provides a basis on which to develop efficient control technologies for mirid bugs.