Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Red Flour Beetle's 'Selfish' Gene Sequenced

Date:
August 12, 2008
Source:
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Tracking the red flour beetle in grain storage facilities could become easier, thanks to research to identify a key gene in this grain-feeding pest.

Determining the genetic code of a key gene could make the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum), a major problem.in grain storage facilities, easier to track and may offer new ways to control this pest.
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb

Tracking the red flour beetle in grain storage facilities could become easier, thanks to research to identify a key gene in this grain-feeding pest.

Related Articles


Researchers with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Purdue University, the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Kansas State University, and Exelixis, Inc. in South San Francisco, Calif., have determined the genetic code of the so-called "selfish" gene in the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum).

This genetic information may offer a potential tracking tool for facilities where grain is stored. Operators could use the information to determine whether beetles are local or from a distant location--and even to develop a plan to control infestations.

ARS entomologist Richard Beeman and molecular biologist Marcι D. Lorenzen at the agency's Grain Marketing and Production Research Center in Manhattan, Kan., deciphered the genetic code of the "selfish" gene. The research was reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The selfish gene is important because red flour beetles that don't inherit it from their mother don't survive. It is called the selfish gene because, whether beneficial or deleterious, it ensures its own perpetuation through the population. These genes are widespread in natural populations of red flour beetles, but are otherwise unknown in the invertebrate world.

According to Beeman, the discovery in red flour beetle may provide a useful vehicle for driving desirable genes into populations, since the gene spreads almost like a disease, and since hitchhiker genes can be attached to it. Malaria researchers think other, similar genes introduced into mosquito populations could reduce the spread of mosquito-borne malaria infections. It may be possible to "attach" another gene to the malaria gene that could negate or minimize its function, thus impeding mosquitoes from spreading the disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA - Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA - Agricultural Research Service. "Red Flour Beetle's 'Selfish' Gene Sequenced." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807081350.htm>.
USDA - Agricultural Research Service. (2008, August 12). Red Flour Beetle's 'Selfish' Gene Sequenced. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807081350.htm
USDA - Agricultural Research Service. "Red Flour Beetle's 'Selfish' Gene Sequenced." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807081350.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) — Video of pandas play fighting at the Chengdu Research Base in China will make your day. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3-D Printed Wheelchair Helps Two-Legged Dog Learn to Run

3-D Printed Wheelchair Helps Two-Legged Dog Learn to Run

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) — 3-D printing helps another two-legged dog run around with his four-legged friends. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the adorable video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

RightThisMinute (Jan. 28, 2015) — From new-puppy happy tears to helpful-grocery-carrying-dog laughter, our four-legged best friends can make us feel the entire spectrum of emotions. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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