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Fruit fly genetics reveal pesticide resistance, insight into cancer

Date:
June 5, 2015
Source:
Michigan Technological University
Summary:
The miniscule and the massive have been bridged in an effort to better understand the mechanisms behind several unique features of fruit fly genes. Some of these genes also shed light on the evolution of pesticide resistance.
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The same genes that make black spots on fruit fly wings can cause cancer in humans.
Credit: Thomas Werner, Michigan Tech

For being so small, fruit flies have had a large impact on genetic research. Thomas Werner, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Michigan Technological University, has bridged the miniscule and the massive in an effort to better understand the mechanisms behind several unique features of fruit fly genes.

Over the past week, several studies that Werner co-authored have been published in PLoS ONE, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Nature Education. All are linked by Drosophila -- a genus of fruit flies -- and the insights that fruit fly genetics provide on human health, specifically cancer-causing genes.

Some of these genes also shed light on the evolution of pesticide resistance. Three Asian fruit fly strains have developed a tolerance for the world's deadliest mushroom toxin and the driving force behind that evolution was unexpected.


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Materials provided by Michigan Technological University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chelsea L. Mitchell, Roger D. Yeager, Zachary J. Johnson, Stephanie E. D’Annunzio, Kara R. Vogel, Thomas Werner. Long-Term Resistance of Drosophila melanogaster to the Mushroom Toxin Alpha-Amanitin. PLOS ONE, 2015; 10 (5): e0127569 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127569

Cite This Page:

Michigan Technological University. "Fruit fly genetics reveal pesticide resistance, insight into cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150605181927.htm>.
Michigan Technological University. (2015, June 5). Fruit fly genetics reveal pesticide resistance, insight into cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150605181927.htm
Michigan Technological University. "Fruit fly genetics reveal pesticide resistance, insight into cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150605181927.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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