Location: Arthropod-borne Animal Diseases Research
Project Number: 3020-32000-007-17-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2018
End Date: Jul 31, 2020
Analyze genomes and transcriptomes for dipteran pests, including muscoid flies, to better characterize the biology, evolution, and ecology of these insects.
ARS and UH scientists have a mutual interest in understanding the role the fly immune response plays in competence for pathogen transmission, larval ecology and cosmopolitan distribution (compared to other Muscoid flies). This cooperative agreement brings together ARS expertise in house fly biology, ecology and fly-bacteria interactions (including immune gene expression) with Cooperator expertise in comparative genomics, transcriptomics and gene/genome evolution in various fly species, including house flies. The approach will include: (1) Comparative genomics of immune system genes to identify immune genes in each species with a sequenced genome, characterize immune genes that are conserved across species, and determine which genes are the result of species-specific expansions. (2) Functional genomics of immune response using RNA-seq data that is already collected and will be collected to determine the conditions and tissues in which immune genes are expressed. (3) Comparative functional genomics of immune gene expression to determine which genes are expressed in conserved or species-specific patterns. (4) Confirmatory qRTPCR analysis of gene expression using established fly bioassays (adult bacteria feeding, tissues specific gene expression, larvae-manure interactions, etc.)