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.

Related Articles


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 December 18, 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 December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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