2016

Congratulations Aisha, Raul, & Baby AidaAishaRaulAida

Aisha gave birth to Aida on March 11th.  Aida is a healthy 10 lbs 1 oz and mother and daughter are doing well.  Aisha submitted her thesis the week before,  officially earning the label of “Superwoman”!!

 

Upcoming

Jack will be going to the China in April 2016 to continue our collaborations with the group of Professor Gong-Yin Ye (Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University), on parasitoid venom evolution and function.

New Publications

Benoit et al. 2016 Unique features of a global human ectoparasite identified through sequencing of the bed bug genome. Nature Communications 7: doi:10.1038/ncomms10165.  This is an i5K (5000 insect genomes) led project to sequence the bed bug genome.  Our role was to identify candidate bacterial lateral gene transfers (LGTs) and “contaminating” bacterial scaffolds in the genome assembly.  We detected two complete bacterial genomes, and a large number of candidate LGTs that provide a rich resource for future study.  Of particular interest in a patatin gene of bacterial origin, which coould be involved in carbohydrate storage or lipid processes.   These LGTs are potential targets for bed bug specific pest control.

Klein et al.  2016. A novel intracellular mutualistic bacterium in the invasive ant Cardiocondyla obscurior. The ISME Journal  10:376–388; doi:10.1038/ismej.2015.119;doi:10.1038/ismej.2015.119. This is a nice study reporting a newly discovered bacterium in this invasive ant, which is found in gut bacteriomes, and retained in the ovaries of queens.  Our primary contribution to the project was to uncover the presence of this bacterium, which we detected in the genome assembly project for this ant.

Yan, Z, Q Fang, L Wang, J Liu, Y Zhu, F Li, JH Werren, & G Ye. 2016. Insights into the venom composition and evolution of an endoparasitoid by combining proteomic and transcriptomic analyses. Scientific Reports 6, 19604 doi:10.1038/srep19604 .  This work is a collaboration with the Ye Gongyin research group in Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.  The parasitoid Pteromalus puparum is a distant relative of Nasonia, and is especially interesting because it represents a recent evolution from the ectoparasitoid to endoparasitoid life style,  a major transition in parasitoid biology.

 Conferences & Seminars

February 2016 – Jack gave two talks at Spelman College in Atlanta Georgia,   one on “Influential  Passengers: Microbes that Manipulate Their Hosts” and the other to students in an Animal Behavior class on “Optimal Foraging & NeuroEconomics”.    This  was a very nice visit and I very much enjoyed interacting with students at Spelman.   Dr. Jenn Kovacs and I are putting together a grant proposal on lateral gene transfers.

2015

New Publications

Martinson, EO, VG Martinson, RE Edwards, Mrinalini, and JH Werren. 2015 Laterally transferred gene recruited as a venom in parasitoid wasps.   Mol. Biol. Evolution doi: 10.1093/molbev/msv348.In this exciting paper,  Ellen and colleagues show that an endochitinase gene was acquired in chalcid wasps early in their evolution from microsporidia and subsequently has evolved into a component of their venom, possibly for defense against fungi.  An independent LGT of this same gene is found in mosquitoes.

Mrinalini, AL Siebert, J Wright, E Martinson, D Wheeler, and JH Werren. 2015.  Parasitoid venom induces metabolic cascades in fly hosts. Metabolomics 1-17. Doi:10.1007/s11206-014-0697-z. This is a detailed study of how parasitoid venoms induce complex cascades of metabolic changes in their fly hosts.  The project was led by Mrinalini, who is now a postdoctoral researcher at the National University of Singapore

Siebert, AL, D Wheeler, and JH Werren.  2015.  A new approach for investigating venom function applied to venom calreticulin in a parasitoid wasp.   Toxicon (Special Issue of Genomic Approaches in Venom Research) doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2015.08.012.     This paper, led by Aisha Siebert (MD/PHD in our laboratory), shows how RNA interference methods can be used to knockdown individual venom genes, which reveals effects of removal of that venom component on host fly gene expression changes when the venom is injected into the fly host.   This can be a potent hypothesis generating tool for determining the functions of these venom proteins, many of which are novel.

Werren, JH, LB Cohen, J Gadau, R Ponce, & JA Lynch. 2015. Dissection of the complex genetic basis of craniofacial anomalies using haploid genetics and interspecies hybrids in Nasonia waspsDevelopmental Biology   doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2015.12.022.    This is a particularly satisfying paper to publish, as the research was initiated over a decade ago.  Here, in this collaboration with the Juergen Gadau (ASU) and Jeremy Lynch groups, we utilize hybrid crosses and genotyping of F2 haploid males to map major QTL involved in head shape differences between two Nasonia species, and gene interactions involved in head abnormalities found in hybrids.  The study reveals extensive gene interactions (epistasis) influencing species differences in head-shape and abnormal head shape syndromes in hybrids.  Some of these phenotypes are similar to abnormal cranial development syndromes in humans. The system shows promise for investigating genes and gene interactions that lead to defects in cranial development.

Wang, Xu, JH Werren & AG Clark 2015.  Genetic and epigenetic architecture of sex-biased expression in the jewel wasps Nasonia vitripennis and giraulti.   PNAS 112: E3545-E3554.   This paper is part of our ongoing and productive collaboration with Andy Clark and Xu Wang (Cornell U.)  to explore evolution and function of DNA methylation.  This study shows that DNA methylation is largely invariant between adult males and females of Nasonia, whereas there are extensive differences in sex biased gene expression.  Based on these findings and our earlier study (Wang et al 2013), We argue that DNA methylation is largely a signal for constitutive expression of genes.  This is different from proposals in some social insects that methylation is dynamic and plays a role in cast determination.

Arrivals

December 2015Steven Messer is conducting a first year graduate student rotation in our laboratory.  He is assisting with mapping of recombinants within the region containing memory retention genes  from the species N. giraulti in a N. vitripennis background,  and conducting a study mapping a body size genetic effect that falls in this same region.

December 2015: Sarah Baron has joined the laboratory as a part-time laboratory technician.  She will be assisting primarily in our experiments on the genetics of forgetting in parasitoid wasps. Our goal is to fine-scale map and clone a major gene affecting memory retention.

August 2015:   Sarah Kingan (Research Associate) has joined the laboratory in a part-time position.  She is working primarily on our studies of lateral gene transfers from bacteria to arthropod genomoes, and also is involved in other computer and computational projects.

Departures

October 2015: Zhi-chao Yan has returned to his home institute (Ye Group, Zhejiang University ) where he will continue work on his PhD studies of genomics and venoms in the parasitoid wasp Pteromalus puparum.  This relative of Nasonia provides interesting contrasts to our own Nasonia system.

September 2015:   Luticha Doucette has departed the laboratory to take a job doing computational work with the Rochester City Innovation Team.  We wish her the best in these new endeavors, and are happy that her experiences at U. Rochester helped her to make this transition.

August 2015:  Amanda Avery will be taking a new job at Rochester Institute of Technology as an educational administrator.  She will continue part-time for several months to assist us on the lateral gene transfer projects, on which she has worked so ably.   Amanda started working in our laboratory as an undergraduate about 8 years ago.  We will miss her around the lab as she makes this transition to a new career path.

 Conferences & Seminars

Jack Werren and Mike Herman (KSU) organized the 2015 Gordon Conference on Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics.  The meeting was held 12-17 July in Biddeford, Maine. Check out the link – www.grc.org/programs.aspx?id=13135 .   The meeting showcased this rapidly growing field.  From our laboratory, Ellen Martinson  and visitor Zi-chao (Mike) Yan attended and presented excellent posters on their work.

Aisha Siebert was selected to give a platform talk on her work, entitled “Parasitoid venom and sorbitol metabolism in human kidney”, at the American Physician Scientist Association Northeast Regional Meeting, Syracuse, NY. October 17, 2015.   She also gave a talk at the Society for Basic Urologic Research (SBUR) in Fort Lauderdale FL in November 2015 on “Parasitoid Venom Elevates Sorbitol And Induces Expression Of Noncanonical Aldo-keto Reductases (AKR1C*) In Human Kidney Cells”.   Both of these talks were very well received and highlight her work showing that parasitoid venoms also affect sorbitol levels in human renal cells, as they do in the targeted fly host of these parasitoids.

Undergraduate researcher Allison Martin presented her work at the 2015 Cornell University EVODAY on The Genetics of Forgetting in Nasonia”.  By all accounts, she did an excellent job and received helpful feedback.

April 2015  Student Awards:   Rose Richter and Allison Martin  both received the de Kiewiet Summer Research Fellowship to continue their research.  Rose is investigating lateral gene transfers in true bugs.  Allison is using Nasonia species differences in memory to map genes involved in “forgetting”.

April 2015  DepartureMrinalini (Munni) departs for a new postdoctoral position at the National University in Singapore, to study venoms of snakes.  Congratulations for this great new position.  We will miss you!

April 2015  Training: Aisha is attending a 7-day course on High Throughput Biology at the New York Genome Center (NYGC).  This course is a collaboration between the Canadian Bioinformatics Institute (bioinformatics.ca), Cold Spring Harbor, and the NYGC.

April 2015 – Seminars & Visits:  Jack gave seminars and the University of South Dakota on Wolbachia and endosymbiosis and University of Illinois at Chicago on genetics of Nasonia.   Many stimulating discussions on Nasonia biology ensued with members of the research group of Jeremy Lynch.

March 2015 –  Wedding:  Congratulations to Aisha Siebert and Raul Salinas, who married March 21st in San Miquel de Allende, Mexico.  Jack had the honor of conducting the ceremony for these two fine people.

March 2015 – Education Outreach:   Congratulations to Girl Scout Troop 60807 of Rochester, NY for achieving their Science Badge with microscopes. Ellen Martinson and Luticha Andre Doucette led the activity which included the investigation of insect wings, snail larvae feeding on algae, and live Nasonia wasps and aphids under the microscope. Through this demonstration, they were able to introduce the scientific method and explain several questions currently being researched at the University of Rochester. Go Science!

Mar 2015 Fellowship: Congratulations to Mrinalini, who is awarded a fellowship at the National University of Singapore.

Feb 2015 Seminars & Visits:   While in California, Jack met with Richard Stouthamer and Amelia Lindsey to discuss parasitoid genomes.  Then he gave a public lecture at the Atheneum lecture series at Claremont College on “Influential Passengers: Microbes that Manipulate Their Hosts”  The video link is available here.  At UC Santa Barbara, Jack gave a seminar on “Adaptation and Speciation in Parasitoid Wasps”, focusing on recent findings on venom evolution.

Jan 2015 EventLuticha went on set to WXXI on Homework Hotline to discuss some of her research here as well as speak about inclusion for people with disabilities. The link can be found here:

2014

Nov 2014 Event: The film crew from WXXI’s Homework Hotline came to interview Luticha Andre Doucette and take a tour of the Werren lab. This is part of a partnership with WXXI and the Golisano Foundation for their Move To Include campaign. They are highlighting how the great accessibility features we’ve added to the lab as well as discuss Luticha’s work. We look forward to viewing the final video when it airs next year!

Nov 2014  Meeting:  Aisha presented a poster entitled “Parasitoid venom alters sorbitol metabolism in human kidney” at the American Physician Scientist Association (APSA) Northeast Regional Meeting, New York, NY.  She was one of three “best poster” award recipients at this event.

Aug 2014  New Paper: Congratulations to Mrinalini, first author on the paper entitled “Parasitoid venom induces metabolic cascades in fly hosts”, now published in Metabolomics. The functions of Nasonia vitripennis in fly hosts are characterized using the relative abundance of 298 diverse metabolites and small molecules. The study revealed that N. vitripennis venom targets specific metabolic processes while keeping the host alive. Venom downregulates glycolysis and oxidative metabolism, upregulates polyol and amino acid biosynthesis, and arrests chitin biosynthesis in the host.

Oct 2014  New Paper: Congratulations to Ellen Martinson, first author on the paper entitled “Nasonia vitripennis venom causes targeted gene expression changes in its fly host”, now published in Molecular Ecology.  See the paper here. The work shows Nasonia venom effects target a specific and limited set of genes and provides insight into the interaction between the ectoparasitoid wasp and its host. Furthermore, it proposes several mechanisms of known venom effects such as developmental arrest, immune suppression, and decrease pyruvate levels.

Aug 2014  Event: Aisha presented a talk entitled “Nasonia vitripennis venom-derived peptides reveal new insight into human metabolic disorders” at the University of Rochester Biology department seminar.

July 2014  Meeting: Ellen Martinson presented a talk entitled “Evolution and host manipulation of Nasonia venom” at the Evolution conference in Raleigh, NC.

July 2014 Event: We have a new addition to our lab! Luticha Andre Doucette has a B.S. in Bioinformatics from Rochester Institute of Technology. She is being supported by a Diversity Supplement granted by the NIH and will be focusing on the evolution of venom genes in Nasonia vitripennis and related parasitoid species.

Aug 2014 Outreach:  Jackie Crisman from Jamestown Community College led a delegation of faculty and students to visit our laboratory, so as to learn more about Nasonia as a research and teaching organism.  This is part of our ongoing educational outreach program with Jamestown Community College.

July 2014 Paper:  Katja Hoedjes has published her first authored paper “Introgression study reveals two quantitative trait loci involved in interspecific variation in memory retention among Nasonia wasp species” in Heredity.   This work emerges from a collaboration between the Werren lab and Hans Smid and Louise Vet lab groups in The Netherlands.   We are now in the position to start positional cloning genes involved in natural variation in memory.

June-July 2014  Education Outreach:  Jamestown Community College Students Andy Gerwitz and Chayse Langworthy  visited us for 9 weeks as part of an educational outreach collaboration with Dr. Jackie Crisman (JCC).  Andy worked on the identification and confirmation of Lateral Gene Transfer (LGT) candidates in the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Leafhopper (Homalodisca vitripennis).  Chayse worked on identification and confirmation of LGT candidates of Muscidifurax uniraptor, a parasitoid wasp.  ​

May-June 2014 Seminars on Systems Biology and Quantum Biology. In late May, Jack gave two talks for the Systems Biology Workshop at the Centre for AgriBioscience, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.  One was on “Using Nasonia (& Its Microbes) to Reveal Processes of Adaptation & Speciation”, and the other on “Parasitoid Venoms: Diversity, Function and Potential for Drug Discovery”.  The workshop was outstanding as was  the hospitality of German Spangenburg, the workshop organizer.  Then it was on to Galisano Island (BC, Canada) to a meeting on Large-Scale Quantum Effects in Biological Systems.  This was a fascinating meeting of physicists and biologists:  Jack gave a talk on “When do we expect biological adaptations to be ‘optimal’ enough to reveal quantum processes, and how can we exploit natural variation to study quantum processes in biology?”.

May 2014  Seminars & Visits:  In early May, Jack returned to his alma mater, the University of Utah, to visit and give a seminar on ”Wandering about Biology”, a tour of the meanderings of his biological career since starting at the university 39 years ago.    While there, Jack and Aisha Siebert developed a collaboration with Dr. Toto Olievera on parasitoid venoms.  Toto taught biochemistry to a reluctant Jack in 1975.  Who said you cannot go home again?

2013

Oct 2013  New Paper: Congratulations to Xu Wang (Cornell), first author on the paper entitled “Function and Evolution of DNA Methylation in Nasonia vitripennis”, now published in PLoS Genetics.  See the paper here. The work shows extensive DNA methylation of genes in Nasonia, and that methylation is associated with constitutive gene expression across development.  Furthermore, methylation occurs over exons, primarily in the 5’ end of genes, methylated genes are clustered in the genome, and evolutionary loss of methylation appears to be associated with increased specialization in expression and increased rate of gene evolution.   The work is a collaboration between our lab, Andy Clark and Xu Wang at Cornell, and John Colbourne (now at the University of Birmingham, UK).   Nasonia looks to be an outstanding model for future studies of DNA methylation.

Oct 2013  New Paper: The paper “Characterizing the infection-induced transcriptome of Nasonia vitripennis reveals a preponderance of taxonomically-restricted immune genes”  is now available here, and will soon be published in PLoS One. Congratulations to Tim Sackton, who led this effort. Tim is now at Harvard, and was a postdoc with Andy Clark (Cornell) when we initiated the collaboration. As the title of the paper suggests, Nasonia has a rich assemblage of “parasitoid” specific immune genes that are induced by pathogen exposure.  As further studies emerge, we will learn more about the functions of these inducible genes and their phylogenetic diversity among parasitoids.

Oct 2013 – New Paper:   Congratulations to Jan Buellesbach (Germany), who led the research effort and is first author on the paper “Cuticular hydrocarbon divergence in the jewel wasp Nasonia: evolutionary shifts in chemical communication channels?”, published here in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology.  The paper shows that CHCs have diverged quickly in female N. giraulti, and that males no longer use CHCs as a species mate recognition cue (although they are still attracted to CHCs from females of other Nasonia species).   The loss of CHCs as a species specific mating cue is probably due to within host mating found in this species.

Sept 2013–  Lab Visitor: Jakob Strauss (Arndt Telschow Research Group, Muenster University, Germany) is visiting us for 6 weeks  to work with Jack on developing network models for disease transmission.  Using the global dynamics of Wolbachia as a framework, the goal is to employ network modeling approaches to investigate the dynamics and evolution of pathogens that differ in levels of host specialization in network structured host populations.

Sept 2013 –  Lab Visitor: Hanna Brody is visiting the laboratory to learn how to do larval RNA interference in Nasonia.  Hanna is an undergraduate researcher working with Dr. Patrick Ferree,  Claremont College, California.  They are investigating the mechanisms by which the paternal sex ratio chromosome induces dysfunction of the paternal chromosomes in fertilized eggs.  PSR is the most extreme example of “selfish” DNA found in any organism (Here are some links).

July 2013  –   Event: Congratulations to Amanda Avery and Brian Dolan on their marriage!. There was a great party too with plenty of dancing.

July 2013 –  Meeting: Jack attends the Gordon Conference on Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics, in Biddeford, Maine.   He is Co-Vice Chair of the Conference and will be Co-Chair for the next conference in 2015.

Oct 2013 –  New Paper: Congratulations to Xu Wang (Cornell), first author on the paper entitled “Function and Evolution of DNA Methylation in Nasonia vitripennis”, now published in PLoS Genetics.  See the paper here. The work shows extensive DNA methylation of genes in Nasonia, and that methylation is associated with constitutive gene expression across development.  Furthermore, methylation occurs over exons, primarily in the 5’ end of genes, methylated genes are clustered in the genome, and evolutionary loss of methylation appears to be associated with increased specialization in expression and increased rate of gene evolution.   The work is a collaboration between our lab, Andy Clark and Xu Wang at Cornell, and John Colbourne (now at the University of Birmingham, UK).   Nasonia looks to be an outstanding model for future studies of DNA methylation.

Oct 2013 – New Paper: The paper “Characterizing the infection-induced transcriptome of Nasonia vitripennis reveals a preponderance of taxonomically-restricted immune genes”  is now available here, and will soon be published in PLoS One. Congratulations to Tim Sackton, who led this effort. Tim is now at Harvard, and was a postdoc with Andy Clark (Cornell) when we initiated the collaboration. As the title of the paper suggests, Nasonia has a rich assemblage of “parasitoid” specific immune genes that are induced by pathogen exposure.  As further studies emerge, we will learn more about the functions of these inducible genes and their phylogenetic diversity among parasitoids.

Oct 2013 – New Paper:   Congratulations to Jan Buellesbach (Germany), who led the research effort and is first author on the paper “Cuticular hydrocarbon divergence in the jewel wasp Nasonia: evolutionary shifts in chemical communication channels?”, published here in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology.  The paper shows that CHCs have diverged quickly in female N. giraulti, and that males no longer use CHCs as a species mate recognition cue (although they are still attracted to CHCs from females of other Nasonia species).   The loss of CHCs as a species specific mating cue is probably due to within host mating found in this species.

Sept 2013–  Lab Visitor: Jakob Strauss (Arndt Telschow Research Group, Muenster University, Germany) is visiting us for 6 weeks  to work with Jack on developing network models for disease transmission.  Using the global dynamics of Wolbachia as a framework, the goal is to employ network modeling approaches to investigate the dynamics and evolution of pathogens that differ in levels of host specialization in network structured host populations.

Sept 2013 –  Lab Visitor: Hanna Brody is visiting the laboratory to learn how to do larval RNA interference in Nasonia.  Hanna is an undergraduate researcher working with Dr. Patrick Ferree,  Claremont College, California.  They are investigating the mechanisms by which the paternal sex ratio chromosome induces dysfunction of the paternal chromosomes in fertilized eggs.  PSR is the most extreme example of “selfish” DNA found in any organism (Here are some links).

July 2013  –   Event: Congratulations to Amanda Avery and Brian Dolan on their marriage!. There was a great party too with plenty of dancing.

July 2013 –  Meeting: Jack attends the Gordon Conference on Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics, in Biddeford, Maine.   He is Co-Vice Chair of the Conference and will be Co-Chair for the next conference in 2015.

July 2013 – Event: Jack, Mari and Simon return to Rochester after 6 months in Berlin.

June 2013 –  Meeting: Members of the Werren lab attended the 11th International Nasonia Meeting in Wageningen, The Netherlands, which was held at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology.  There is a lot of exciting new research being done on Nasonia, which was showcased at the meeting.  Our lab was well represented. Mrinalini gave a presentation on metabolic changes induced by parasitoid venom.  Ellen Martinson also spoke on venom effects in the fly hosts – her talk was entitled “Investigating Nasonia’s venom host phenotype using transcriptomics”.  Jack gave a general talk on “What segmental introgressions can tell us about genetics and evolution”.

June 2013 –  Seminar: Jack gives a talk at the WissenschaftKolleg zu Berlin on “Cooperation, Conflict & the Evolution of Interactions”.

May 2013 – Grant Award: Aisha Siebert and Jack Werren received a Drug Development Delivery Pilot Award from URSMD, the Moulder Center for Drug Discovery Research and the Department of Technology Transfer.  The grant funds preliminary research characterizing metabolic effects of Nasonia venoms on human cells.

May 2013- Seminar: Ellen Martinson gives a talk entitle Emergent traits in parasitoid-host interactions” at the Novel Traits And Rapid Evolution Meeting, Cornell University.

April 2013 –  Seminar: Peter Hammerstein and Jack Werren give a joint seminar on reproductive parasites entitled “When the guest becomes the pest : bacteria and the sex lives of insects” in Berlin GE.  The talk was part of a public symposium on “Synthesizing Theoretical and Experimental Biology “

March 2013  –  New Paper: Congratulations to Dave Wheeler and  Amanda Redding for their publication in PLoS One entitled “Characterization of an ancient lepidopteran lateral gene transfer”, which is available here.  The paper shows that butterflies acquired a gene from  enterococcal bacteria early in their evolution.  The gene encodes a functional protein, based on molecular evolution evidence (selective maintenance of an open-reading frame).   The function of this gene in butterflies is not yet known.

Feb 2013 – New Paper: Congratulations to Chris Desjardins (now at the Broad Institute), who led the effort on  “Fine-Scale mapping of the Nasonia genome to chromosomes using a high-density genotyping microarray“, which is published in Genes, Genomes and Genetics (G3) and available here.  The paper uses genetic crosses between species to map a large number of scaffolds in the Nasonia genome.  This is an important advance and provides a useful tool for positional cloning of genes involved in species differences.

Jan 2013 –  Event:Jack departs for Berlin, Germany, where he will be doing sabbatical at the Wissenschaftkolleg zu Berlin until July.

Older News: SCIENCE PAPER: Using positional cloning, Loehlin & Werren (2012) have cloned the gene responsible for large differences in male wing size between Nasonia species, and shown it to be a well-known growth regulator called “unpaired” (upd). Further dissecting the region around this gene by fine-scale recombination has revealed regulatory modules affecting spatial and temporal expression of the gene. The upd gene is functionally related to interleukins in humans, which regulate cell growth and differentiation, and are involved in cancer. Loehlin & Werren propose that upd could be a “hotspot” for the evolution of growth regulation in diverse organisms, a proposition that needs to be further investigated. Dave completed his PhD in autumn 2011 and is now a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Sean Carroll. See a podcast interview by Jack Werren, Univeristy of Rochester press release, and NSF press release. The paper was selected as the Science Editor’s Choice.

Older News: EUREKA!!: The Werren Lab has been awarded a EUREKA grant from NIH to explore the function and evolution of parasitoid venoms!! Eureka is a prestigious NIH grant to fund “exceptionally innovative research”, and we are exceptionally excited about the prospects of exploring the function, evolution, and drug discovery potential of parasitoid venoms. If you are interested in learning more about this research area, contact Jack Werren.

Opportunities for graduate study in the Werren laboratory: Topics include (a) evolution of gene networks in development, (b) genetics of adaptation (behavior, morphology) and speciation (hybrid incompatibilities), (c) function and evolution of parasitoid venoms, (d) endosymbiosis and the dyanamics and evolution of microbial-host interactions (e.g. Wolbachia and other endosymbionts), (e) Lateral gene transfers between bacteria and animals, and (f) genome evolution, including the evolution of selfish DNA. For more information, contact Jack Werren.