The number and diversity of viral sequences that are identified in metagenomic data far exceeds that of experimentally characterized virus isolates. In a recent workshop, a panel of experts discussed the proposal that, with appropriate quality control, viruses that are known only from metagenomic data can, and should be, incorporated into the official classification scheme of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). Although a taxonomy that is based on metagenomic sequence data alone represents a substantial departure from the traditional reliance on phenotypic properties, the development of a robust framework for sequence-based virus taxonomy is indispensable for the comprehensive characterization of the global virome. In this Consensus Statement article, we consider the rationale for why metagenomic sequence data should, and how it can, be incorporated into the ICTV taxonomy, and present proposals that have been endorsed by the Executive Committee of the ICTV.
Zhang T, Hu Y, Jiang W, Fang L, Guan X, Chen J, Zhang J, Saski CA, Scheffler BE, Stelly DM, Hulse-Kemp AM, Wan Q, Liu B, Liu C, Wang S, Pan M, Wang Y, Wang D, Ye W, Chang L, Zhang W, Song Q, Kirkbride RC, Chen X, Dennis E, Llewellyn DJ, Peterson DG, Thaxton P, Jones DC, Wang Q, Xu X, Zhang H, Wu H, Zhou L, Mei G, Chen S, Tian Y, Xiang D, Li X, Ding J, Zuo Q, Tao L, Liu Y, Li J, Lin Y, Hui Y, Cao Z, Cai C, Zhu X, Jiang Z, Zhou B, Guo W, Li R, Chen ZJ (2015) Sequencing of allotetraploid cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. acc. TM-1) provides a resource for fiber improvement. Nature Biotechnology 33(5): 531-537.
Upland cotton is a model for polyploid crop domestication and transgenic improvement. Here we sequenced the allotetraploid Gossypium hirsutum L. acc. TM-1 genome by integrating whole-genome shotgun reads, bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-end sequences and genotype-by-sequencing genetic maps. We assembled and annotated 32,032 A-subgenome genes and 34,402 D-subgenome genes. Structural rearrangements, gene loss, disrupted genes and sequence divergence were more common in the A subgenome than in the D subgenome, suggesting asymmetric evolution. However, no genome-wide expression dominance was found between the subgenomes. Genomic signatures of selection and domestication are associated with positively selected genes (PSGs) for fiber improvement in the A subgenome and for stress tolerance in the D subgenome. This draft genome sequence provides a resource for engineering superior cotton lines.
Li S, Tighe SW, Nicolet CM, Grove D, Levy S, Farmerie W, Viale A, Wright C, Schweitzer PA, Gao Y, Kim D, Boland J, Hicks B, Kim R, Chhangawala S, Jafari N, Raghavachari N, Gandara J, Garcia-Reyero N, Hendrickson C, Roberson D, Rosenfeld J, Smith T, Underwood JG, Wang M, Zumbo P, Baldwin DA, Grills GS, Mason CE (2015) Multi-platform assessment of transcriptome profiling using RNA-seq in the ABRF next-generation sequencing study. Nature Biotechnology 32(9): 915-925.
High-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) greatly expands the potential for genomics discoveries, but the wide variety of platforms, protocols and performance capabilitites has created the need for comprehensive reference data. Here we describe the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities next-generation sequencing (ABRF-NGS) study on RNA-seq. We carried out replicate experiments across 15 laboratory sites using reference RNA standards to test four protocols (poly-A-selected, ribo-depleted, size-selected and degraded) on five sequencing platforms (Illumina HiSeq, Life Technologies PGM and Proton, Pacific Biosciences RS and Roche 454). The results show high intraplatform (Spearman rank R > 0.86) and inter-platform (R > 0.83) concordance for expression measures across the deep-count platforms, but highly variable efficiency and cost for splice junction and variant detection between all platforms. For intact RNA, gene expression profiles from rRNA-depletion and poly-A enrichment are similar. In addition, rRNA depletion enables effective analysis of degraded RNA samples. This study provides a broad foundation for cross-platform standardization, evaluation and improvement of RNA-seq
Hamann E, Gruber-Vodicka H, Kleiner M, Tegetmeyer HE, Riedel D, Littmann S, Chen J, Milucka J, Viehweger B, Becker KW, Dong X, Stairs CW, Hinrichs KU, Brown MW, Roger AJ, Strous M (2016) Environmental Breviatea harbour mutualistic Arcobacter epibionts. Nature 534(7606): 254-258.
Breviatea form a lineage of free living, unicellular protists, distantly related to animals and fungi. This lineage emerged almost one billion years ago, when the oceanic oxygen content was low, and extant Breviatea have evolved or retained an anaerobic lifestyle. Here we report the cultivation of Lenisia limosa, gen. et sp. nov., a newly discovered breviate colonized by relatives of animal-associated Arcobacter. Physiological experiments show that the association of L. limosa with Arcobacter is driven by the transfer of hydrogen and is mutualistic, providing benefits to both partners. With whole-genome sequencing and differential proteomics, we show that an experimentally observed fitness gain of L. limosa could be explained by the activity of a so far unknown type of NAD(P)H-accepting hydrogenase, which is expressed in the presence, but not in the absence, of Arcobacter. Differential proteomics further reveal that the presence of Lenisia stimulates expression of known 'virulence' factors by Arcobacter. These proteins typically enable colonization of animal cells during infection, but may in the present case act for mutual benefit. Finally, re-investigation of two currently available transcriptomic data sets of other Breviatea reveals the presence and activity of related hydrogen-consuming Arcobacter, indicating that mutualistic interaction between these two groups of microbes might be pervasive. Our results support the notion that molecular mechanisms involved in virulence can also support mutualism, as shown here for Arcobacter and Breviatea
Paterson AH, Wendel JF, Gundlach H, Guo H, Jenkins J, Jin D, Llewellyn D, Showmaker KC, Shu S, Udall J, Yoo MJ, Byers R, Chen W, Doron-Faigenboim A, Duke MV, Gong L, Grimwood J, Grover C, Grupp K, Hu G, Lee TH, Li J, Lin L, Liu T, Marler BS, Page JT, Roberts AW, Romanel E, Sanders WS, Szadkowski E, Tan X, Tang H, Xu C, Wang J, Wang Z, Zhang D, Zhang L, Ashrafi H, Bedon F, Bowers JE, Brubaker CL, Chee PW, Das S, Gingle AR, Haigler CH, Harker D, Hoffmann LV, Hovav R, Jones DC, Lemke C, Mansoor S, Rahman M, Rainville LN, Rambani A, Reddy UK, Rong JK, Saranga Y, Scheffler BE, Scheffler JA, Stelly DM, Triplett BA, Van Deynze A, Vaslin MF, Waghmare VN, Walford SA, Wright RJ, Zaki EA, Zhang T, Dennis ES, Mayer KF, Peterson DG, Rokhsar DS, Wang X, Schmutz J (2012) Repeated polyploidization of Gossypium genomes and the evolution of spinnable cotton fibres. Nature 492(7429): 423-427.
Polyploidy often confers emergent properties, such as the higher fibre productivity and quality of tetraploid cottons than diploid cottons bred for the same environments. Here we show that an abrupt five- to sixfold ploidy increase approximately 60 million years (Myr) ago, and allopolyploidy reuniting divergent Gossypium genomes approximately 1-2 Myr ago, conferred about 30-36-fold duplication of ancestral angiosperm (flowering plant) genes in elite cottons (Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium barbadense), genetic complexity equalled only by Brassica among sequenced angiosperms. Nascent fibre evolution, before allopolyploidy, is elucidated by comparison of spinnable-fibred Gossypium herbaceum A and non-spinnable Gossypium longicalyx F genomes to one another and the outgroup D genome of non-spinnable Gossypium raimondii. The sequence of a G. hirsutum A(t)D(t) (in which 't' indicates tetraploid) cultivar reveals many non-reciprocal DNA exchanges between subgenomes that may have contributed to phenotypic innovation and/or other emergent properties such as ecological adaptation by polyploids. Most DNA-level novelty in G. hirsutum recombines alleles from the D-genome progenitor native to its New World habitat and the Old World A-genome progenitor in which spinnable fibre evolved. Coordinated expression changes in proximal groups of functionally distinct genes, including a nuclear mitochondrial DNA block, may account for clusters of cotton-fibre quantitative trait loci affecting diverse traits. Opportunities abound for dissecting emergent properties of other polyploids, particularly angiosperms, by comparison to diploid progenitors and outgroups.
Dasmahapatra KK, Walters JR, Briscoe AD, Davey JW, Whibley A, Nadeau NJ, Zimin AV, Hughes DST, Ferguson LC, Martin SH, Salazar C, Lewis JJ, Adler S, Ahn SJ, Baker DA, Baxter SW, Chamberlain NL, Chauhan R, Counterman BA, Dalmay T, Gilbert LE, Gordon K, Heckel DG, Hines HM, Hoff KJ, Holland PWH, Jacquin-Joly E, Jiggins FM, Jones RT, Kapan DD, Kersey P, Lamas G, Lawson D, Mapleson D, Maroja LS, Martin A, Moxon S, Palmer WJ, Papa R, Papanicolaou A, Pauchet Y, Ray DA, Rosser N, Salzberg SL, Supple MA, Surridge A, Tenger-Trolander A, Vogel H, Wilkinson PA, Wilson D, Yorke JA, Yuan F, Balmuth AL, Eland C, Gharbi K, Thomson M, Gibbs RA, Han Y, Jayaseelan JC, Kovar C, Mathew T, Muzny DM, Ongeri F, Pu LL, Qu J, Thornton RL, Worley KC, Wu YQ, Linares M, Blaxter ML, Ffrench-Constant RH, Joron M, Kronforst MR, Mullen SP, Reed RD, Scherer SE, Richards S, Mallet J, Owen McMillan W, Jiggins CD (2012) Butterfly genome reveals promiscuous exchange of mimicry adaptations among species. Nature 487(7405): 94-98.
The evolutionary importance of hybridization and introgression has long been debated. Hybrids are usually rare and unfit, but even infrequent hybridization can aid adaptation by transferring beneficial traits between species. Here we use genomic tools to investigate introgression in Heliconius, a rapidly radiating genus of neotropical butterflies widely used in studies of ecology, behaviour, mimicry and speciation. We sequenced the genome of Heliconius melpomene and compared it with other taxa to investigate chromosomal evolution in Lepidoptera and gene flow among multiple Heliconius species and races. Among 12,669 predicted genes, biologically important expansions of families of chemosensory and Hox genes are particularly noteworthy. Chromosomal organization has remained broadly conserved since the Cretaceous period, when butterflies split from the Bombyx (silkmoth) lineage. Using genomic resequencing, we show hybrid exchange of genes between three co-mimics, Heliconius melpomene, Heliconius timareta and Heliconius elevatus, especially at two genomic regions that control mimicry pattern. We infer that closely related Heliconius species exchange protective colour-pattern genes promiscuously, implying that hybridization has an important role in adaptive radiation.
Alfoldi J, Di Palma F, Grabherr M, Williams C, Kong L, Mauceli E, Russell P, Lowe CB, Glor RE, Jaffe JD, Ray DA, Boissinot S, Shedlock AM, Botka C, Castoe TA, Colbourne JK, Fujita MK, Moreno RG, ten Hallers BF, Haussler D, Heger A, Heiman D, Janes DE, Johnson J, de Jong PJ, Koriabine MY, Lara M, Novick PA, Organ CL, Peach SE, Poe S, Pollock DD, de Queiroz K, Sanger T, Searle S, Smith JD, Smith Z, Swofford R, Turner-Maier J, Wade J, Young S, Zadissa A, Edwards SV, Glenn TC, Schneider CJ, Losos JB, Lander ES, Breen M, Ponting CP, Lindblad-Toh K (2011) The genome of the green anole lizard and a comparative analysis with birds and mammals. Nature 477(7366): 587-591.
The evolution of the amniotic egg was one of the great evolutionary innovations in the history of life, freeing vertebrates from an obligatory connection to water and thus permitting the conquest of terrestrial environments. Among amniotes, genome sequences are available for mammals and birds, but not for non-avian reptiles. Here we report the genome sequence of the North American green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis. We find that A. carolinensis microchromosomes are highly syntenic with chicken microchromosomes, yet do not exhibit the high GC and low repeat content that are characteristic of avian microchromosomes. Also, A. carolinensis mobile elements are very young and diverse-more so than in any other sequenced amniote genome. The GC content of this lizard genome is also unusual in its homogeneity, unlike the regionally variable GC content found in mammals and birds. We describe and assign sequence to the previously unknown A. carolinensis X chromosome. Comparative gene analysis shows that amniote egg proteins have evolved significantly more rapidly than other proteins. An anole phylogeny resolves basal branches to illuminate the history of their repeated adaptive radiations.
Reed RD, Papa R, Martin A, Hines HM, Counterman BA, Pardo-Diaz C, Jiggins CD, Chamberlain NL, Kronforst MR, Chen R, Halder G, Nijhout HF,McMillan WO (2011) Optix drives the repeated convergent evolution of butterfly wing pattern mimicry. Science 333(6046): 1137-41.
Mimicry--whereby warning signals in different species evolve to look similar--has long served as a paradigm of convergent evolution. Little is known, however, about the genes that underlie the evolution of mimetic phenotypes or to what extent the same or different genes drive such convergence. Here, we characterize one of the major genes responsible for mimetic wing pattern evolution in Heliconius butterflies. Mapping, gene expression, and population genetic work all identify a single gene, optix, that controls extreme red wing pattern variation across multiple species of Heliconius. Our results show that the cis-regulatory evolution of a single transcription factor can repeatedly drive the convergent evolution of complex color patterns in distantly related species, thus blurring the distinction between convergence and homology.
Natarajan C, Hoffmann FG, Weber RE, Fago A, Witt CC, Storz JF (2016) Predictable convergence in hemoglobin function has unpredictable molecular underpinnings. Science 354(6310): 336-339.
To investigate the predictability of genetic adaptation, we examined the molecular basis of convergence in hemoglobin function in comparisons involving 56 avian taxa that have contrasting altitudinal range limits. Convergent increases in hemoglobin-oxygen affinity were pervasive among high-altitude taxa, but few such changes were attributable to parallel amino acid substitutions at key residues. Thus, predictable changes in biochemical phenotype do not have a predictable molecular basis. Experiments involving resurrected ancestral proteins revealed that historical substitutions have context-dependent effects, indicating that possible adaptive solutions are contingent on prior history. Mutations that produce an adaptive change in one species may represent precluded possibilities in other species because of differences in genetic background.
Green RE, Braun EL, Armstrong J, Earl D, Nguyen N, Hickey G, Vandewege MW, St John JA, Capella-Gutierrez S, Castoe TA, Kern C, Fujita MK, Opazo JC, Jurka J, Kojima KK, Caballero J, Hubley RM, Smit AF, Platt RN, Lavoie CA, Ramakodi MP, Finger JW, Suh A, Isberg SR, Miles L, Chong AY, Jaratlerdsiri W, Gongora J, Moran C, Iriarte A, McCormack J, Burgess SC, Edwards SV, Lyons E, Williams C, Breen M, Howard JT, Gresham CR, Peterson DG, Schmitz J, Pollock DD, Haussler D, Triplett EW, Zhang G, Irie N, Jarvis ED, Brochu CA, Schmidt CJ, McCarthy FM, Faircloth BC, Hoffmann FG, Glenn TC, Gabaldon T, Paten B, Ray DA (2014) Three crocodilian genomes reveal ancestral patterns of evolution among archosaurs. Science 346(6215): 1254449.
To provide context for the diversification of archosaurs--the group that includes crocodilians, dinosaurs, and birds--we generated draft genomes of three crocodilians: Alligator mississippiensis (the American alligator), Crocodylus porosus (the saltwater crocodile), and Gavialis gangeticus (the Indian gharial). We observed an exceptionally slow rate of genome evolution within crocodilians at all levels, including nucleotide substitutions, indels, transposable element content and movement, gene family evolution, and chromosomal synteny. When placed within the context of related taxa including birds and turtles, this suggests that the common ancestor of all of these taxa also exhibited slow genome evolution and that the comparatively rapid evolution is derived in birds. The data also provided the opportunity to analyze heterozygosity in crocodilians, which indicates a likely reduction in population size for all three taxa through the Pleistocene. Finally, these data combined with newly published bird genomes allowed us to reconstruct the partial genome of the common ancestor of archosaurs, thereby providing a tool to investigate the genetic starting material of crocodilians, birds, and dinosaurs.
Jarvis ED, Mirarab S, Aberer AJ, Li B, Houde P, Li C, Ho SY, Faircloth BC, Nabholz B, Howard JT, Suh A, Weber CC, da Fonseca RR, Li J, Zhang F, Li H, Zhou L, Narula N, Liu L, Ganapathy G, Boussau B, Bayzid MS, Zavidovych V, Subramanian S, Gabaldon T, Capella-Gutierrez S, Huerta-Cepas J, Rekepalli B, Munch K, Schierup M, Lindow B, Warren WC, Ray D, Green RE, Bruford MW, Zhan X, Dixon A, Li S, Li N, Huang Y, Derryberry EP, Bertelsen MF, Sheldon FH, Brumfield RT, Mello CV, Lovell PV, Wirthlin M, Schneider MP, Prosdocimi F, Samaniego JA, Vargas Velazquez AM, Alfaro-Nunez A, Campos PF, Petersen B, Sicheritz-Ponten T, Pas A, Bailey T, Scofield P, Bunce M, Lambert DM, Zhou Q, Perelman P, Driskell AC, Shapiro B, Xiong Z, Zeng Y, Liu S, Li Z, Liu B, Wu K, Xiao J, Yinqi X, Zheng Q, Zhang Y, Yang H, Wang J, Smeds L, Rheindt FE, Braun M, Fjeldsa J, Orlando L, Barker FK, Jonsson KA, Johnson W, Koepfli KP, O'Brien S, Haussler D, Ryder OA, Rahbek C, Willerslev E, Graves GR, Glenn TC, McCormack J, Burt D, Ellegren H, Alstrom P, Edwards SV, Stamatakis A, Mindell DP, Cracraft J, Braun EL, Warnow T, Jun W, Gilbert MT, Zhang G (2014) Whole-genome analyses resolve early branches in the tree of life of modern birds. Science 346(6215): 1320-1331.
To better determine the history of modern birds, we performed a genome-scale phylogenetic analysis of 48 species representing all orders of Neoaves using phylogenomic methods created to handle genome-scale data. We recovered a highly resolved tree that confirms previously controversial sister or close relationships. We identified the first divergence in Neoaves, two groups we named Passerea and Columbea, representing independent lineages of diverse and convergently evolved land and water bird species. Among Passerea, we infer the common ancestor of core landbirds to have been an apex predator and confirm independent gains of vocal learning. Among Columbea, we identify pigeons and flamingoes as belonging to sister clades. Even with whole genomes, some of the earliest branches in Neoaves proved challenging to resolve, which was best explained by massive protein-coding sequence convergence and high levels of incomplete lineage sorting that occurred during a rapid radiation after the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event about 66 million years ago.
Zhang G, Li C, Li Q, Li B, Larkin DM, Lee C, Storz JF, Antunes A, Greenwold MJ, Meredith RW, Odeen A, Cui J, Zhou Q, Xu L, Pan H, Wang Z, Jin L, Zhang P, Hu H, Yang W, Hu J, Xiao J, Yang Z, Liu Y, Xie Q, Yu H, Lian J, Wen P, Zhang F, Li H, Zeng Y, Xiong Z, Liu S, Zhou L, Huang Z, An N, Wang J, Zheng Q, Xiong Y, Wang G, Wang B, Wang J, Fan Y, da Fonseca RR, Alfaro-Nunez A, Schubert M, Orlando L, Mourier T, Howard JT, Ganapathy G, Pfenning A, Whitney O, Rivas MV, Hara E, Smith J, Farre M, Narayan J, Slavov G, Romanov MN, Borges R, Machado JP, Khan I, Springer MS, Gatesy J, Hoffmann FG, Opazo JC, Hastad O, Sawyer RH, Kim H, Kim KW, Kim HJ, Cho S, Li N, Huang Y, Bruford MW, Zhan X, Dixon A, Bertelsen MF, Derryberry E, Warren W, Wilson RK, Li S, Ray DA, Green RE, O'Brien SJ, Griffin D, Johnson WE, Haussler D, Ryder OA, Willerslev E, Graves GR, Alstrom P, Fjeldsa J, Mindell DP, Edwards SV, Braun EL, Rahbek C, Burt DW, Houde P, Zhang Y, Yang H, Wang J, Jarvis ED, Gilbert MT, Wang J (2014) Comparative genomics reveals insights into avian genome evolution and adaptation. Science 346(6215): 1311-1320.
Birds are the most species-rich class of tetrapod vertebrates and have wide relevance across many research fields. We explored bird macroevolution using full genomes from 48 avian species representing all major extant clades. The avian genome is principally characterized by its constrained size, which predominantly arose because of lineage-specific erosion of repetitive elements, large segmental deletions, and gene loss. Avian genomes furthermore show a remarkably high degree of evolutionary stasis at the levels of nucleotide sequence, gene synteny, and chromosomal structure. Despite this pattern of conservation, we detected many non-neutral evolutionary changes in protein-coding genes and noncoding regions. These analyses reveal that pan-avian genomic diversity covaries with adaptations to different lifestyles and convergent evolution of traits.
Paterson AH, Bowers JE, Bruggmann R, Dubchak I, Grimwood J, Gundlach H, Haberer G, Hellsten U, Mitros T, Poliakov A, Schmutz J, Spannagl M, Tang H, Wang X, Wicker TM, Bharti AK, Chapman J, Feltus FA, Gowik U, Grigoriev IV, Lyons E, Maher CA, Martis M, Narechania A, Otillar RP, Penning BW, Salamov AA, Wang Y, Zhang L, Carpita NC, Freeling M, Gingle AR, Hash CT, Keller B, Klein P, Kresovich S, McCann MC, Ming R, Peterson DG, Rahman MU, Ware D, Westhoff P, Mayer KF, Messing J, Rokhsar DS (2009) The Sorghum bicolor genome and the diversification of grasses. Nature 457(7229): 551-556.
Sorghum, an African grass related to sugar cane and maize, is grown for food, feed, fibre and fuel. We present an initial analysis of the approximately 730-megabase Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench genome, placing approximately 98% of genes in their chromosomal context using whole-genome shotgun sequence validated by genetic, physical and syntenic information. Genetic recombination is largely confined to about one-third of the sorghum genome with gene order and density similar to those of rice. Retrotransposon accumulation in recombinationally recalcitrant heterochromatin explains the approximately 75% larger genome size of sorghum compared with rice. Although gene and repetitive DNA distributions have been preserved since palaeopolyploidization approximately 70 million years ago, most duplicated gene sets lost one member before the sorghum-rice divergence. Concerted evolution makes one duplicated chromosomal segment appear to be only a few million years old. About 24% of genes are grass-specific and 7% are sorghum-specific. Recent gene and microRNA duplications may contribute to sorghum's drought tolerance.
Bunge JA, Epstein SS, Peterson DG (2006) Comment on 'Computational improvements reveal great bacterial diversity and high metal toxicity in soil'. Science 313(5789): 918.
Gans et al. (Reports, 26 August 2005, p. 1387) provided an estimate of soil bacterial species richness two orders of magnitude greater than previously reported values. Using a re-derived mathematical model, we reanalyzed the data and found that the statistical error exceeds the estimate by a factor of 26. We also note two potential sources of error in the experimental data collection and measurement procedures.
Supple MA, Hines HM, Dasmahapatra KK, Lewis JJ, Nielsen DM, Lavoie C, Ray DA, Salazar C, McMillan WO, Counterman BA (2013) Genomic architecture of adaptive color pattern divergence and convergence in Heliconius butterflies. Genome Research 23(8): 1248-1257.
Identifying the genetic changes driving adaptive variation in natural populations is key to understanding the origins of biodiversity. The mosaic of mimetic wing patterns in Heliconius butterflies makes an excellent system for exploring adaptive variation using next-generation sequencing. In this study, we use a combination of techniques to annotate the genomic interval modulating red color pattern variation, identify a narrow region responsible for adaptive divergence and convergence in Heliconius wing color patterns, and explore the evolutionary history of these adaptive alleles. We use whole genome resequencing from four hybrid zones between divergent color pattern races of Heliconius erato and two hybrid zones of the co-mimic Heliconius melpomene to examine genetic variation across 2.2 Mb of a partial reference sequence. In the intergenic region near optix, the gene previously shown to be responsible for the complex red pattern variation in Heliconius, population genetic analyses identify a shared 65-kb region of divergence that includes several sites perfectly associated with phenotype within each species. This region likely contains multiple cis-regulatory elements that control discrete expression domains of optix. The parallel signatures of genetic differentiation in H. erato and H. melpomene support a shared genetic architecture between the two distantly related co-mimics; however, phylogenetic analysis suggests mimetic patterns in each species evolved independently. Using a combination of next-generation sequencing analyses, we have refined our understanding of the genetic architecture of wing pattern variation in Heliconius and gained important insights into the evolution of novel adaptive phenotypes in natural populations.