Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New International Research Initiative on the Evolution of Insects officially started

03.02.2012
The 1KITE (1K Insect Transcriptome Evolution) project involves more than 50 scientists from all over the world.

It will unravel the secrets of the evolutionary history of insects using a molecular data set of unparalleled dimensions and quality. Started in September 2011, the transcriptomes of 1,000 insect species will be investigated. Within the next two years, BGI, China – the world’s largest genomic sequencing center – has invested initiating funds to enable this international project that requires roughly 6 Million dollars and has made its extensive sequencing infrastructure available to achieve this goal.


The evolution of damselflies (here a Coenagrion male) is of interest. Foto: Johannes Dambach, ZFMK


It is a lacewing (and not a butterfly). Nemoptera bipennis. Foto: Ekkehard Wachmann

The realization of this ambitious program requires synergistic collaboration among experts from a wide range of research fields. The 1KITE has brought together around 50 internationally renowned experts in molecular biology, morphology, palaeontology, embryology, bioinformatics, and scientific computing in an unprecedented way. Overall, scientists from seven nations (Australia, Austria, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the US) are tightly collaborating in the 1KITE project.

A "transcriptome" includes the sequences of all the sets of genes that are being “translated ” into proteins in a particular organism at the time it was collected. It represents a major and important part of the complete genome, since these mRNAs are involved in the life processes of the organism and how it interacts with it's ecosystem. Analyses of the transcriptome data will allow the reconstruction of a robust phylogenetic tree of insects, which will greatly contribute to the understanding of the reasons for their astonishing success. Furthermore, the project includes the development of new and advanced approaches analyzing enormous (“phylogenomic”) data sets, which are generated by new laboratory techniques at an ever-increasing rate. “These data will produce the best resolved tree of insects, setting the stage for comparative analyses of genome evolution” says Prof. Bernhard Misof, Head of the Department of Molecular Biodiversity Research at the ZFMK, Bonn, Germany. Professor Misof is one of the initiators of this research program, along with Karl Kjer from Rutgers University, and Xin Zhou from BGI.

Insects are the most species-rich group of animals. They play a pivotal role in most non-marine ecosystems and many insect species are of enormous economic and medical importance as pests, pollinators, disease vectors, and keystone species. “It will be essential to resolve the relationships within insects in order to understand how such an immense diversity of insects could have evolved. Since insects are such an fundamental component of biodiversity we hope to answer why ecosystems shaped and adjusted in the way they are” says Dr. Xin Zhou, Head of the National Bio-resource Bank at BGI and co-founder of the 1KITE project.

Part of the project is devoted to the development of new bioinformatics methods. “The production of new data has gained such an enormous speed recently, that the analysis and storage of the data will become the real challenge in the near future!” says Dr. Alexandros Stamatakis, Head of the High Performance Computing Department at HITS, Heidelberg.

Involved are:

• From Japan: the Sugadaira Mountain Research Center; Department of Arthropod Comparative Embryology, University of Tsukuba; and the Department of Systematic Entomology, Hokkaido University.
• From Austria: the Department of Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Animal Biodiversity, University Vienna and the Natural History Museum, Vienna.
• From the US: the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources and the Department of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University; the Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University; and Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota.
• From Australia: the CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Australian National Insect Collection, Canberra.
• From Mexico: the Centro de Estudios en Zoologí, Universidad de Guadalajara, Zapopan, Jalisco.
• From China: BGI and China Agricultural University, China Agricultural University, Department of Entomology, Laboratory of Systematic & Evolutionary Entomology, Bejing, China
• From Germany: Zoological Research Museum Koenig, the Institute of Systematic Zoology and Evolutionary Biology with Phyletic Museum Jena, the Department of Scientific Computing at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, the Zoological Institute and the Zoological Museum, University of Hamburg, the Department of Paleontology, Steinmann Institute, University of Bonn, and the Stuttgart State Museum of Natural History.

• From New Zealand: the Department of Biosystematics, Landcare Research, Auckland.

The Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK) and Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity is one of the largest natural-history-research museums in Germany. The museum has earned its reputation as a leader in the documentation, research, and interpretation of biodiversity.

The Leibniz Association is a network of 87 scientifically, legally and economically independent research institutes and scientific service facilities. Leibniz Institutes perform strategic- and thematically-oriented research and offer scientific service of national significance while striving to find scientific solutions for major social challenges.

Sabine Heine | idw
Further information:
http://www.1kite.org/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht World’s Largest Study on Allergic Rhinitis Reveals new Risk Genes
17.07.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Plant mothers talk to their embryos via the hormone auxin
17.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>