Ground beetles of the subgenus Ohomopterus (genus Carabus) show marked divergence in species-specific male and female genital morphologies, which contributes to reproductive isolation among species. Characterizing the genetic basis of species-specific genital morphology is essential for understanding their diversification, but genomic information on Ohomopterus is not yet available. We analyzed mRNA extracted from abdominal sections of the last instar larvae and pupae of two sister species, Carabus (Ohomopterus) iwawakianus and C. (O.) uenoi, which show marked differences in genital morphology, to compare transcriptomic profiles using Roche 454 pyrosequencing. We obtained 1,608,572 high-quality reads and assembled them into 176,278 unique sequences, of which 66,049 sequences were combined into 12,662 clusters. Differential expression analyses for sexed pupae suggested that four and five clusters were differentially expressed between species for males and females, respectively. We also identified orthologous sequences of genes involved in genital development in Drosophila, which potentially affect genital development and species-specific genital morphology in Ohomopterus. This study provides the first large transcriptomic data set for a morphologically diversified beetle group, which can facilitate future studies on the genetic basis of species-specific genitalia.
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Vol. 31 • No. 9