Start Date: Apr 06, 2005
End Date: Mar 04, 2010
We propose to fully characterize the structure of the genome of the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) and its constituent genes; to develop transgene technologies to reveal gene functions and vulnerable physiological pathways and to identify promising targets for insect suppression; and to develop DNA-based methods for monitoring, fingerprinting, and characterizing pest populations. We will generate and analyze expressed sequence tag (EST) data to identify genes involved with digestion, osmoregulation, immunity, metamorphosis, neuroendocrine regulation, and other vital functions. After preliminary automated genome analysis by Ensembl, we will use the Apollo interface to view, retrieve, manipulate, refine, and correct Ensembl-generated annotations in a desktop environment. Results will be integrated into InsectBase and BeetleBase. In silico analyses will be integrated with in vivo modification of the Tribolium genome using transposon vectors specifically tailored for gene disruption, discovery of gene regulatory elements, promoter analysis, and gene replacement. Identification of the digestive proteinase subgenome will be extended with genomic and proteomic studies in Tenebrio and other beetles. Microsatellites, variable repeats, hypervariable segments, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and other sequences with potential use in DNA fingerprinting will also be mined from the genome sequence and utilized for basic study of population biology and to gain insight into infestation sources and movements.