Gerris buenoi


The water strider Gerris buenoi (Heteroptera, Gerromorpha) is a semi-aquatic insect readily observable in ponds rowing through the water surface. Several aspects of water striders’ biology argue in favor of genome sequencing in a representative of this group.

Wide scientific interest: water striders are model systems for ecology and evolutionary biology, population genetics, phylogenetics, and biomechanics. These studies have extensively contributed to our understanding of the forces that shape the evolution of adaptive traits in this group, including adaptations to locomotion on water surface, co-evolution of the sexes, mating systems and mating strategies, and wing polymorphism.

Rich morphological diversity: Water striders belong to the Gerromorpha, a group containing over 1900 described species, classified in eight families, whose evolutionary history has been estimated from the fossil record to 120 million years of geological time. This diversity offers a powerful model for identifying the genes and the genetic changes responsible for phenotypic variation within species, between populations, and across species.

Technical tractability: Semi-aquatic bugs are widespread and can easily be cultured in lab conditions. Importantly, we have shown that RNAi induced gene silencing is highly successful, and can be routinely employed for gene function analyses across semi-aquatic insects.

Potential medical interest: Water striders are predatory insects that can feed on mosquito larvae, and therefore constitute a potential natural enemy that can help keep mosquito populations at low levels. In addition, Gerris are known to host Mycobacterium ulcerans; a virulent bacterium that causes severe necrotizing cutaneous infections.

Water striders are predated on by fish species; a recent study describes interactions with fish predators. The water strider behavior has been captured in videos:

Data were generated by the Baylor College of Medicine's i5k pilot project.

Please cite the following publication when using this dataset:

The genome of the water strider Gerris buenoi reveals expansions of gene repertoires associated with adaptations to life on the water. David Armisen et al. bioRxiv doi:

Community contact:

Image Credit: Copyright Abderrahman Khila View Source.
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Feature Summary
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Contig N50
Scaffold N50
Number Of Genes
Community Contact
Community Contact: 
Abderrahman Khila|
David Armisen|
Image Credit
Copyright Abderrahman Khila <a href="">View Source.</a>

Assembly Information

Analysis Name Whole genome assembly of Gerris buenoi
Software Baylor College of Medicine genome assembly pipeline (NA)
Source Gbue.scaffolds.50.fa
Date performed 2014-01-19
Materials & Methods

Sequence generation for assembly. For this project we are generating fairly high coverage in a number of different insert sized libraries. The assembly strategy is based around a seed allpaths assembly (the Broad Allpaths assembler) followed by seed assembly improvement using homegrown tools, Atlas-link and Atlas-GapFill, which can significantly improve the results. Thus we generate sequence data to enable the Allpaths assembly. As of Nov 2011 this is: - 40X genome coverage in 180bp insert library (100bp reads forward and reverse); and 40X 3kb insert data. To enable better scaffolding and local gap filling we additionally generate 500bp, 1kb, 2kb, and 8kb insert sizes at > 20X coverage.

Source: Baylor College of Medicine i5K Project Summary


Assembly Metrics
Contig N50 3812
Scaffold N50 344118
GC Content 32.46