Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Study Gene Regulation In Insects

Date:
April 28, 2006
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
Researchers first identified the genes associated with segmentation and discovered other insects, as well as humans, possessed the genes. But they wondered if the genes functioned the same in every organism.

MANHATTAN, KAN. -- Susan Brown, an associate professor of biology at Kansas State University, is interested in how evolution generates so much diversity in insects shapes and forms.

Take the fruit fly and the beetle, for example. Even though they look very different, they have the same segmented body plan consisting of head, thorax and abdomen, Brown said. They differ, though, in how they make segments in the embryo. Fruit flies make segments all at once; beetles make segments one at a time.

"Imagine slicing a loaf of bread," Brown said. "Segmentation in fruit flies is similar to a pre-sliced loaf of bread. In other insects and even humans, segments are added one at a time, like slicing a loaf of freshly baked bread."

It is this segmentation that is the basis of a paper by Brown and two K-State doctoral students. The appears in a recent edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

"We wanted to know how the same genes that slice a space like a loaf of bread can also add slices one at a time," Brown said.

According to Brown, the groundwork for this research was laid about 20 years ago when scientists first learned about the genes that regulate embryonic development in the fruit fly. She said one question that many scientists have been asking since is do other insects have those same genes? If they do, what role do these genes play to give insects such different ways of making segments?

Researchers first identified the genes associated with segmentation and discovered other insects, as well as humans, possessed the genes. But they wondered if the genes functioned the same in every organism.

"We figured that it would be good to start with another insect -- but an insect that looks very different," Brown said. "A fruit fly has a very specific shape and a beetle looks quite different. We thought it would be a good place to start, since they also develop very differently.

"Once the genes involved in segmentation were identified in other insects, we asked if they function the same as in fruit flies. If the function of these genes is eliminated, can the beetle still make segments?"

According to Brown, some of the genes that make segments in fruit flies are also needed to make segments in beetles. Other genes were found not to be needed.

"These results will help us decide which genes to investigate in other insects and arthropods to better understand the basic process of segmentation and how it is regulated at the genetic level," Brown said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Researchers Study Gene Regulation In Insects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060428095243.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2006, April 28). Researchers Study Gene Regulation In Insects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060428095243.htm
Kansas State University. "Researchers Study Gene Regulation In Insects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060428095243.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Firefighters Rescue Puppy Stuck in Tire

Raw: Firefighters Rescue Puppy Stuck in Tire

AP (Aug. 26, 2014) It took Houston firefighters more than an hour to free a puppy who got its head stuck in a tire. (Aug. 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A study published in the journal "Neurology" interviewed more than 19,000 people and found 15 percent suffer from being "sleep drunk." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Great White Shark Spotted Off Massachusetts Coast

Great White Shark Spotted Off Massachusetts Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) A great white shark is spotted off the shore at Duxbury beach in Massachusetts forcing beach goers out of the water. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elk Wanders Into German Office Building

Raw: Elk Wanders Into German Office Building

AP (Aug. 25, 2014) A young bull elk wandered inside the office building of a company in Dresden, Germany on Monday. The elk became trapped between a wall and glass windows while rescue workers tried to rescue him safely. (Aug. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins