An official website of the United States government.

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.

This site is also protected by an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate that’s been signed by the U.S. government. The https:// means all transmitted data is encrypted — in other words, any information or browsing history that you provide is transmitted securely.

Tribolium castaneum

Resource Type
Common Name
red flour beetle

Tribolium castaneum, the red flour beetle, is a secondary pest of stored grain. It has emerged as a premier genetic model organism for studies of development and pest management. A robust RNAi response at any life stage has enabled functional studies of all live stages covering processes from development to physiology. In terms of genetic and transgenic tools including genome wide RNAi screening, T. castaneum is an insect model second only to D. melanogaster.

T. castaneum is a cosmopolitan pest of wheat that is easily reared in the laboratory on a diet of whole wheat flour supplemented with 5% yeast. At 29C, T. castaneum completes embryonic development in 3 days and generally undergoes 6 larval molts before metamorphosis into adults. Although the life cycle can be completed within 3 weeks, adults can live for a year while females reproduce for several months.

The T. castaneum genome contains 10 autosomes, an X and a Y. The genome is 200Mb, 160 of which have been captured in the latest genome assembly, Tcas_5.2. The original 7x Sanger draft was improved with additional NGS data and 90% of the assembled sequence has been mapped to Linkage Groups. Scaffolds in the resulting CHLG builds have been merged ordered and oriented using optical maps.

  1. Shelton JM, Coleman MC, Herndon N, Lu N, Lam ET, Anantharaman T, Sheth P, Brown SJ. Tools and pipelines for BioNano data: molecule assembly pipeline and FASTA super scaffolding tool.. BMC genomics. 2015 Sep 29; 16:734.
  2. Herndon N, Shelton J, Gerischer L, Ioannidis P, Ninova M, Dönitz J, Waterhouse RM, Liang C, Damm C, Siemanowski J, Kitzmann P, Ulrich J, Dippel S, Oberhofer G, Hu Y, Schwirz J, Schacht M, Lehmann S, Montino A, Posnien N, Gurska D, Horn T, Seibert J, Vargas Jentzsch IM, Panfilio KA, Li J, Wimmer EA, Stappert D, Roth S, Schröder R, Park Y, Schoppmeier M, Chung HR, Klingler M, Kittelmann S, Friedrich M, Chen R, Altincicek B, Vilcinskas A, Zdobnov E, Griffiths-Jones S, Ronshaugen M, Stanke M, Brown SJ, Bucher G. Enhanced genome assembly and a new official gene set for Tribolium castaneum.. BMC genomics. 2020 Jan 14; 21(1):47.
Organism Image
Image Credit
Copyright Susan J. Brown
NameProgramDate Constructed
Tribolium castaneum genome assembly Tcas5.2 (GCF_000002335.3)AllPaths v. 2008; ATLAS-LINK v. 2014; GapFiller v. 2014; stitch v. 2014Mar 10th, 2016
NCBI Tribolium castaneum Annotation Release 103NCBI Eukaryotic Genome Annotation PipelineMar 21st, 2016
Tribolium castaneum annotations TCAS_OGSv3AUGUSTUSMar 11th, 2016
Functional annotation of Tribolium castaneum annotations TCAS_OGSv3AgBase functional annotation pipelineSep 30th, 2020
Assembly Stats
Contig N50
Scaffold N50
GC Content
Other Information
Community Contact
Gregor Bucher|