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Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 6;7:43368. doi: 10.1038/srep43368.

Data integration aids understanding of butterfly-host plant networks.

Author information

1
Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), 8916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara 630-0192, Japan.
2
Department of Bioscience and Bioinformatics, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Kawazu 680-4, Iizuka, Fukuoka 820-8502, Japan.
3
Graduate School of Information Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), 8916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara 630-0192, Japan.
4
Database Center for Life Science (DBCLS), Research Organization of Information and Systems, Yata 1111, Mishima, Shizuoka 411-8540, Japan.
5
DDBJ Center, National Institute of Genetics, Research Organization of Information and Systems, Yata 1111, Mishima, Shizuoka 411-8540, Japan.
6
Neko-System Inc., 8-31, Konyamachi, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-0804, Japan.
7
School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan.
8
JT Biohistory Research Hall, 1-1 Murasaki-cho, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-1125, Japan.

Abstract

Although host-plant selection is a central topic in ecology, its general underpinnings are poorly understood. Here, we performed a case study focusing on the publicly available data on Japanese butterflies. A combined statistical analysis of plant-herbivore relationships and taxonomy revealed that some butterfly subfamilies in different families feed on the same plant families, and the occurrence of this phenomenon more than just by chance, thus indicating the independent acquisition of adaptive phenotypes to the same hosts. We consequently integrated plant-herbivore and plant-compound relationship data and conducted a statistical analysis to identify compounds unique to host plants of specific butterfly families. Some of the identified plant compounds are known to attract certain butterfly groups while repelling others. The additional incorporation of insect-compound relationship data revealed potential metabolic processes that are related to host plant selection. Our results demonstrate that data integration enables the computational detection of compounds putatively involved in particular interspecies interactions and that further data enrichment and integration of genomic and transcriptomic data facilitates the unveiling of the molecular mechanisms involved in host plant selection.

PMID:
28262809
PMCID:
PMC5338290
DOI:
10.1038/srep43368
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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