Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Stage-Specific Gene Expression in New World Screwworm Cochliomyia hominivorax

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Virág Varga Joshua Benoit


By Virág Varga, Biological Sciences

Advisor: Joshua Benoit

Presentation ID: AM_ATRIUM18

Abstract: The New World Screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivorax, is a major agricultural pest of South America, though it has been eliminated north of Panama through the joint efforts of the governments of Mexico and the United States. In this study, we present the RNA-Seq studies associated with a genome sequencing project with the aim of determining stage-specific gene expression in C. hominivorax. Significantly enriched gene sets were determined for six developmental stages of C. hominivorax, and Gene Ontology (GO) analyses were completed on these enriched sets. BLAST was used to compare C. hominivorax genes to Drosophila melanogaster in order to assign putative gene functions. This study revealed enriched gene sets associated with development and reproductive function in C. hominivorax. In addition, a number of genes which lack orthologs to D. melanogaster were identified for each developmental stage. These results may identify novel control targets for C. hominivorax and will be published in combination with the genome of this pestiferous fly.

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AM Poster Session -- Atrium -- Sustainability & Biodiversity