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Gerris buenoi


Resource Type
Common Name
Water strider

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.

Armisén D, Rajakumar R, Friedrich M, Benoit JB, Robertson HM, Panfilio KA, Ahn SJ, Poelchau MF, Chao H, Dinh H, Doddapaneni HV, Dugan S, Gibbs RA, Hughes DST, Han Y, Lee SL, Murali SC, Muzny DM, Qu J, Worley KC, Munoz-Torres M, Abouheif E, Bonneton F, Chen T, Chiang LM, Childers CP, Cridge AG, Crumière AJJ, Decaras A, Didion EM, Duncan EJ, Elpidina EN, Favé MJ, Finet C, Jacobs CGC, Cheatle Jarvela AM, Jennings EC, Jones JW, Lesoway MP, Lovegrove MR, Martynov A, Oppert B, Lillico-Ouachour A, Rajakumar A, Refki PN, Rosendale AJ, Santos ME, Toubiana W, van der Zee M, Vargas Jentzsch IM, Lowman AV, Viala S, Richards S, Khila A. The genome of the water strider Gerris buenoi reveals expansions of gene repertoires associated with adaptations to life on the water.. BMC genomics. 2018 Nov 21; 19(1):832.
Organism Image
Image Credit
Copyright Abderrahman Khila View Source.


NameProgramDate Constructed
Annotation v0.5.3 of the Gerris buenoi assembly using MAKER (Baylor College of Medicine)MAKERJul 10th, 2014
Gerris buenoi annotations OGSv1.1remap-gff3Sep 18th, 2018
Gerris buenoi annotations OGSv1.0MAKER2, manual annotation, GFF3toolkitFeb 23rd, 2018
Gerris buenoi genome assembly Gbue_2.0 (GCA_001010745.2)AllPaths LG v. 44620; Atlas Link v. 1.0; Atlas GapFill v. 2.2; redundans v. 0.12cSep 18th, 2018

Assembly Stats

Contig N50
Scaffold N50
GC Content

Other Information

Community Contact
Abderrahman Khila|