Navigation Links
Parasitic wasps' newly sequenced genomes reveal new avenues for pest control

Researchers from the University of Geneva and the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics led an analysis of the sequenced genomes of parasitic wasps. Generally unknown to the public, the parasitic wasps kill pest insects. They are like 'smart bombs' that seek out and kill only specific kinds of insects. Harnessing their full potential would thus be vastly preferable to chemical pesticides, which broadly kill or poison many organisms in the environment, including humans. The results of this large study are featured in today's issue of Science. Professor Evgeny Zdobnov from the University of Geneva Medical School and the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics directed the comparative evolutionary genomics studies as part of this international project, which revealed many features that could be useful to pest control and medicine, and to enhance our understanding of genetics and evolution.

The scientists sequenced and analysed the genomes of three parasitoid Nasonia wasp species. "Comparing the genes and genomes of those wasps revealed almost 7'000 genes that have recognisable counterparts in humans (orthologues)", says Zdobnov. "However, the wasp is more different from its closest sequenced relative, the honeybee, than humans are from chickens". In addition to being useful for controlling pests and offering pharmaceutically interesting venoms, the wasps could act as a new genetic system with a number of unique advantages. So far, fruit flies have been the standard model for genetic studies, mainly because they are small, can be grown easily in a laboratory, and reproduce quickly. On top of sharing these traits, Nasonia present another advantage. Male Nasonia have only one set of chromosomes, instead of two sets like fruit flies and people, so that "A single set of chromosomes, which is more commonly found in lower single-celled organisms such as yeast, is a handy genetic tool, particularly for studying how genes interact with each other," says John H. Werren from the University of Rochester, who led the project together with Stephen Richards from the Genome Sequencing Centre at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Unlike fruit flies, these wasps also modify their DNA in ways similar to humans and other vertebrates, a process called "methylation" which plays an important role in regulating how genes are turned on and off during development. "Importantly", says Zdobnov, "our comparative analyses discovered hundreds of Nasonia genes that are shared with humans but absent from fruit flies, opening new avenues for their functional investigation in these genetically tractable wasps". "We identified changes to metabolic pathways that may reflect the amino-acid rich carnivorous diet of these parasitoids. Such information could support efforts to produce artificial diets for parasitoid wasp mass rearing in biological control and improve hymenopteran cell culture methods".

Emerging from these genome studies are many opportunities for exploiting Nasonia wasps in topics ranging from pest control to medicine, genetics, and evolution. "Insects are the most diverse group of terrestrial animals", says Zdobnov, "and the sequencing of the wasp genome significantly augments the opportunities for scientists to examine the genetic basis of this incredible diversity that underlies their success".


Contact: Irene Perovsek
Swiss Institute of Bioinoformatics

Related biology news :

1. Parasitic worms make sex worthwhile
2. U of M study finds new insight on therapy for a devastating parasitic disease
3. Springer expands its portfolio in plant sciences with Phytoparasitica
4. New CU-Boulder study shows diversity decreases chances of parasitic disease
5. ISU researchers help map first plant-parasitic nematode genome sequence
6. Diversity among parasitic wasps is even greater than suspected
7. A bees future as queen or worker may rest with parasitic fly
8. Publication offers labs consensus recommendations for diagnosing parasitic diseases
9. Virginia Tech plant scientist leads study on genomics of parasitic plants
10. Poor Americans in the United States suffer hidden burden of parasitic and other neglected diseases
11. New insights into the fate of antiparasitics in manure and manured soils
Post Your Comments:
(Date:9/24/2015)... , September 24, 2015 ... september 2015 Kerv ( ... finanstjänster, lanserar idag världens första kontaktlösa betalningsring ... in 77 000 GBP för massproduktion via ... ) , Kerv-bärare kan ...
(Date:9/10/2015)... -- Pursuant Health has collaborated with health experts ... image-based health risk assessment (HRA) optimized for Pursuant ... assessment quantifies user results into an easily understood ... biological age based on personal health habits, characteristics ... Comprised of age, gender, and risk ...
(Date:9/8/2015)... Sept. 8, 2015  Affectiva, global leader in ... a Service, a new data solution, and version ... on Affectiva,s highly accurate and patented science, these ... slated to transform industries such as market research, ... customer experience, online education, HR, automotive, robotics, healthcare ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... , October 12, 2015 cell surface ... billion by 2022, according to a new report by Grand ... to rise in incidence of oncology diseases and other cell-associated ... is expected to reach USD 6.49 billion by 2022, according ... growth in demand can be attributed to rise in incidence ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... CAESAREA, Israel , October 12, 2015 ... of the Dario™ Diabetes Management Solution, today announced its ... a patient case study at MobiHealth,s 5th EAI ... Focused on, "Transforming healthcare through innovations in mobile and ... London, England from October 14 - ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... NeuMedics Inc., is a specialty ... diseases that can safely and chronically be administered as an eye drop, announced today ... by The Cleveland Clinic and taking place October 25th to October 28th at The ...
(Date:10/10/2015)... Maryland , 10. Oktober, 2015 ... Matsui (Abgeordnete der Demokratischen Partei für Kalifornien) ihre ... bis 17. Oktober) in die Aufzeichnungen des Kongresses ... Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) und ihren ... , Hebung des Bewusstseins über Plasmaspenden weltweit ...
Breaking Biology Technology: