Billens arveanlæg for første gang kortlagt

Udsendt d. 23. marts 2008

Et internationalt forskerkonsortium med deltagelse af en forskergruppe omkring professor Cornelis Grimmelikhuijzen fra Biologisk Institut, Københavns Universitet har for første gang kortlagt arveanlægget af den rødbrune rismelbille, Tribolium castaneum. Forskningen kan få stor betydning for landbruget og resultaterne bliver den 27. marts offentliggjort i det internationalt velrenommerede tidsskrift Nature.

75 % af alle dyrearter i verden er insekter. Den største gruppe indenfor insekter er biller (400.000 arter). Biller kan være meget smukke og farverige, men mange bille-arter er også alvorlige skadedyr, som ødelægger afgrøder såsom kartofler (kartoffel- eller coloradobillen), raps (glimmerbøsse) eller truer skovområder (barkbiller).

Et skadedyr for tørrede afgrøder som korn, majs, ris, og mel er den lille, rødbrune rismelbille, Tribolium castaneum. Et stort internationalt forskerkonsortium bestående af 64 forskergrupper fra 14 lande med deltagelse af et forskerteam omkring professor Cornelis Grimmelikhuijzen fra Biologisk Institut, Københavns Universitet har nu kortlagt arveanlægget fra Tribolium. Arveanlægget består af ca. 200 millioner nukleotider (DNA-byggesten), som koder for ca. 16.000 gener (eller 16.000 proteiner). Denne kortlægning af billens arveanlæg er meget vigtig for landbruget og åbner op for udvikling af nye metoder til at beskytte afgrøder over for biller.

Resultaterne er også meget vigtige til at bedre kunne forstå biologien af de andre bille-arter, hvis arveanlæg endnu ikke er kortlagt. Tribolium er dermed blevet til det foretrukne ”modelsystem” inden for billeforskning, kommenterer professor Cornelis Grimmelikhuijzen.

Kontakt:
Professor Cornelis (Cok) Grimmelikhuijzen
Tel. 35321227 (direkte) 35321216 (sekretær)
E-mail: cgrimmelikhuijzen@bio.ku.dk

Artikel:
Tribolium Genome Sequencing Consortium (2008). The genome of the model beetle and pest Tribolium castaneum. Published online in Nature on 23 March 2008 (doi:10.1038/Nature06784). Link (PDF)

Link:
Center for Functional and Comparative Insect Genomics


 

The beetle’s genome sequenced for the first time

An international research consortium with the participation of a research team led by Professor Cornelis Grimmelikhuijzen from the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, has sequenced the genome from the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. Tribolium is the first beetle and the first insect pest, whose genome has been sequenced. This research may have a big impact on agriculture and has been published today in the renowned journal Nature.

75% of all animal species in the world are insects. The largest group within insects are beetles (400,000 species). Beetles can be very beautiful and colorful, but many beetle species are also serious agricultural pests that can destroy food plants like potatoes (the Colorado potato beetle) and threaten large areas of forest. Altogether, insect pests cause U.S. $ 26 billion in losses to U.S. agriculture yearly and beetles are responsible for a substantial part of this.

A pest for dried commodities such as corn, maize, rice, and flour, is the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. A large international research consortium consisting of 64 research groups from 14 countries with the participation of a research team around Professor Cornelis Grimmelikhuijzen from the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen has now sequenced the genome from Tribolium. This genome consists of about 200 million nucleotides (DNA building blocks) that code for about 16,000 genes (or 16,000 proteins). These sequencing efforts are extremely important for agriculture and will enable the development of new methods for the protection of food plants against beetles.

The results are also important to better understand the biology of the other beetle species, whose genome has not been sequenced yet. This makes Tribolium to the favorite model system in beetle research, says Cornelis Grimmelikhuijzen.

Contact:
Professor Cornelis (Cok) Grimmelikhuijzen
Tel. +45 3532 1227 (direct) +45 3532 1216 (secretary)
E-mail: cgrimmelikhuijzen@bio.ku.dk

Article:
Tribolium Genome Sequencing Consortium (2008). The genome of the model beetle and pest Tribolium castaneum. Published online in Nature on 23 March 2008 (doi:10.1038/Nature06784). Link (PDF)

Link:
Center for Functional and Comparative Insect Genomics