Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Beyond fruit flies--iBeetle large-scale RNAi screen in Tribolium

Schmitt-Engel C, Schultheis D, Schwirz J, Ströhlein N, Troelenberg N, Majumdar U, Dao VA, Grossmann D, Richter T, Tech M, Dönitz J, Gerischer L, Theis M, Schild I, Trauner J, Koniszewski ND, Küster E, Kittelmann S, Hu Y, Lehmann S, Siemanowski J, Ulrich J, Panfilio KA, Schröder R, Morgenstern B, Stanke M, Buchhholz F, Frasch M, Roth S, Wimmer EA, Schoppmeier M, Klingler M, Bucher G. The iBeetle large-scale RNAi screen reveals gene functions for insect development and physiology. Nat Commun. 2015 Jul 28;6:7822. PMID: 26215380.

From the abstract: "Genetic screens are powerful tools to identify the genes required for a given biological process. .. for technical reasons, comprehensive screens have been restricted to very few model organisms. ... although deep sequencing is revealing the genes of ever more insect species, the functional studies predominantly focus on candidate genes previously identified in Drosophila, which is biasing research towards conserved gene functions. RNAi screens in other organisms promise to reduce this bias. Here we present the results of the iBeetle screen, a large-scale, unbiased RNAi screen in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum ... This work transcends the restrictions of the candidate gene approach and opens fields of research not accessible in Drosophila."

Don't miss: "New fields of research" section of the article, which describes studies, such as of the 'odiferous stink glands,' that can be done in Tribolium but not Drosophila.

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