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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2015 Jul;62:2-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2015.01.007. Epub 2015 Jan 20.

Integrated modeling of protein-coding genes in the Manduca sexta genome using RNA-Seq data from the biochemical model insect.

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Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA.
Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA. Electronic address:


The genome sequence of Manduca sexta was recently determined using 454 technology. Cufflinks and MAKER2 were used to establish gene models in the genome assembly based on the RNA-Seq data and other species' sequences. Aided by the extensive RNA-Seq data from 50 tissue samples at various life stages, annotators over the world (including the present authors) have manually confirmed and improved a small percentage of the models after spending months of effort. While such collaborative efforts are highly commendable, many of the predicted genes still have problems which may hamper future research on this insect species. As a biochemical model representing lepidopteran pests, M. sexta has been used extensively to study insect physiological processes for over five decades. In this work, we assembled Manduca datasets Cufflinks 3.0, Trinity 4.0, and Oases 4.0 to assist the manual annotation efforts and development of Official Gene Set (OGS) 2.0. To further improve annotation quality, we developed methods to evaluate gene models in the MAKER2, Cufflinks, Oases and Trinity assemblies and selected the best ones to constitute MCOT 1.0 after thorough crosschecking. MCOT 1.0 has 18,089 genes encoding 31,666 proteins: 32.8% match OGS 2.0 models perfectly or near perfectly, 11,747 differ considerably, and 29.5% are absent in OGS 2.0. Future automation of this process is anticipated to greatly reduce human efforts in generating comprehensive, reliable models of structural genes in other genome projects where extensive RNA-Seq data are available.


Arthropod genomics; Automated gene modeling; Gene annotation; Tobacco hornworm; de novo assembly

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