K-State scientists’ beetle chosen for national genome sequencing project
The red flour beetle can be a pest in massive grain elevators or in the 5-pound sack of flour in your kitchen. But it also can be an important organism in the field of genetic research.
As the result of research performed by scientists from Kansas State University and the U.S. Department of Agricultures Grain Marketing and Production Research Lab in Manhattan, the red flour beetle has been selected from a long list of nominated organisms for genome sequencing by the National Human Genome Research Institute, an arm of the National Institutes of Health.
As in the case of the human genome, the description of the entire genetic information of the red flour beetle will facilitate a number of important new experimental approaches, according to Susan Brown, associate professor of biology at K-State and principal investigator for the red flour beetle genome project.
Co-investigators on the project include Rob Denell, university distinguished professor of biology and director of the Terry C. Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research, and Richard Beeman, adjunct professor of entomology at K-State and a research entomologist at the U.S. Grain Marketing and Production Research Center.
According to Brown, K-States selection follows many years of work to expand upon the usefulness of the flour beetle for genetic research. She said the beetle is now used in studies ranging from control of embryonic development to strategies for controlling harmful insects.
“With completion of the human genome project, the National Human Genome Research Institute has a great deal of sequencing capacity at its disposal, and has been establishing priorities for sequencing other organisms,” Brown said. “Other animals given high priority for genome sequencing during the past year and a half include the chimpanzee, chicken, cow and dog. Clearly, we are in important company.”
The multimillion dollar commitment by the National Human Genome Research Institute will be accompanied by a $200,000 contribution from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The funds will be given to one of the national sequencing centers, which will then forward the sequence data to the researchers in Manhattan. The researchers will interpret the data and make the information available to the scientific community via the World Wide Web.
All news from this category: Life Sciences
Articles and reports from the Life Sciences area deal with applied and basic research into modern biology, chemistry and human medicine.
Valuable information can be found on a range of life sciences fields including bacteriology, biochemistry, bionics, bioinformatics, biophysics, biotechnology, genetics, geobotany, human biology, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biology, cellular biology, zoology, bioinorganic chemistry, microchemistry and environmental chemistry.
A little friction goes a long way toward stronger nanotube fibers
Rice model may lead to better materials for aerospace, automotive, medical applications. Carbon nanotube fibers are not nearly as strong as the nanotubes they contain, but Rice University researchers are…
Light-induced twisting of Weyl nodes switches on giant electron current
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and collaborators at Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Alabama at Birmingham have discovered a new light-induced switch that twists…
Acidification impedes shell development of plankton off the US West Coast
Shelled pteropods, microscopic free-swimming sea snails, are widely regarded as indicators for ocean acidification because research has shown that their fragile shells are vulnerable to increasing ocean acidity. A new…