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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: FUNCTIONAL GENOMICS OF THE FIRE ANT SOLENOPSIS INVICTA Project Number: 6615-32000-044-09
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 13, 2010
End Date: Jan 28, 2014

Objective:
1. Perform large-scale EST study to significantly increase the breadth and depth of transcriptome coverage of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta using 454 pyrosequencing technology. 2. Develop an oligo microarray for fire ants for gene expression studies using all available EST sequence data (including new data from objective 1). 3. Develop a custom assay for screening SNPs for linkage and population genomic studies of fire ants.

Approach:
DNA sequence data will be generated for the transcriptome of S. invicta by sequencing three normalized cDNA libraries using 454 pyrosequencing technology. All resulting sequences will be run through an automatic pipeline to assemble and preliminarily annotate the sequences. Microarray development will occur in two phases. First, a pilot array will be constructed to identify the best probes for the unigenes identified from the sequencing efforts (244K feature microarray). The best performing probes (and correct orientation) for each sequence then will be synthesized along with positive and negative controls on a 4 X 44K feature microarray, which will be the platform used for subsequent studies. This array will be utilized for four experiments focusing on innate immunity, reproductive physiology, and social organization (including studies of Gp-9, a single gene associated with social organization in this ant). Array probes, layout, and purchase information will be made publicly available on an updated version of a fire ant database. Intraspecific SNPs will be identified using pipeline filtering methods developed for this purpose. A SNP panel consisting of 1536 SNPs will be developed and utilized to construct a moderately dense linkage map, to identify genes linked to Gp-9, to determine whether gametic disequilibrium between Gp-9, SNPs and co-expressed genes exists, and to determine whether these candidate genes are consistently associated with social form as has been shown for Gp-9. Finally, a web-based platform integrating these data in an easily accessible format will be developed.

Last Modified: 11/24/2014
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