The teams of Dr. E. Sucena in the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (Oeiras, Portugal) and Dr. F. Roch (Centre de Biologie du Developpement, Toulouse, France) have contributed to the analysis of the spider mite Tetranychus urticae genome (Grbic et al., (2011) Nature 479, 487-492). These groups have joined an international multidisciplinary consortium of several European and American laboratories that has recently sequenced and annotated the genome of this cosmopolitan agricultural pest. In addition to its interest as an economically important species, Tetranychus is also the first fully sequenced chelicerate genome available and its analysis has yielded important information to investigate arthropod evolution. This study has also revealed the presence of evolutive innovations specific to this polyphagous organism, such as the expansion and fine regulation of different families of detoxification enzymes that allow this herbivorous species to attack a wide variety of plant hosts and rapidly develop pesticide resistance.
Grbic M, et al.(2011) The genome of Tetranychus urticae reveals herbivorous pest adaptations. Nature.23;479(7374):487-92.