Hybridisation has shaped a recent radiation of grass-feeding aphids.

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Aphids are common crop pests. These insects reproduce by facultative parthenogenesis involving several rounds of clonal reproduction interspersed with an occasional sexual cycle. Furthermore, clonal aphids give birth to live young that are already pregnant. These qualities enable rapid population growth and have facilitated the colonisation of crops globally. In several cases, so-called “super clones” have come to dominate agricultural systems. However, the extent to which the sexual stage of the aphid life cycle has shaped global pest populations has remained unclear, as have the origins of successful lineages. Here, we used chromosome-scale genome assemblies to disentangle the evolution of two global pests of cereals-the English (Sitobion avenae) and Indian (Sitobion miscanthi) grain aphids.