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2 Janelia Publications

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    09/25/21 | Coding sequence-independent homology search identifies highly divergent homopteran putative effector gene family
    Stern D, Han C
    bioRxiv. 2021 Sep 25:. doi:

    Many genomes contain rapidly evolving and highly divergent genes whose homology to genes of known function often cannot be determined from sequence similarity alone. However, coding sequence-independent features of genes, such as intron-exon boundaries, often evolve more slowly than coding sequences and can provide complementary evidence for homology. We found that a linear logistic regression classifier using only structural features of rapidly evolving bicycle aphid effector genes identified many putative bicycle homologs in aphids, phylloxerids, and scale insects, whereas sequence similarity search methods yielded few homologs in most aphids and no homologs in phylloxerids and scale insects. Subsequent examination of sequence features and intron locations supported homology assignments. Differential expression studies of newly-identified bicycle homologs, together with prior proteomic studies, support the hypothesis that BICYCLE proteins act as plant effector proteins in many aphid species and perhaps also in phylloxerids and scale insects.

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    03/09/17 | Genetic and transgenic reagents for Drosophila simulans, D. mauritiana, D. yakuba, D. santomea and D. virilis.
    Stern DL, Crocker J, Ding Y, Frankel N, Kappes G, Kim E, Kuzmickas R, Lemire A, Mast JD, Picard S
    G3 (Bethesda, Md.). 2017 Mar 09;7(4):1339-47. doi: 10.1534/g3.116.038885

    Species of the Drosophila melanogaster species subgroup, including the species D. simulans, D. mauritiana, D. yakuba, and D. santomea, have long served as model systems for studying evolution. Studies in these species have been limited, however, by a paucity of genetic and transgenic reagents. Here we describe a collection of transgenic and genetic strains generated to facilitate genetic studies within and between these species. We have generated many strains of each species containing mapped piggyBac transposons including an enhanced yellow fluorescent protein gene expressed in the eyes and a phiC31 attP site-specific integration site. We have tested a subset of these lines for integration efficiency and reporter gene expression levels. We have also generated a smaller collection of other lines expressing other genetically encoded fluorescent molecules in the eyes and a number of other transgenic reagents that will be useful for functional studies in these species. In addition, we have mapped the insertion locations of 58 transposable elements in D. virilis that will be useful for genetic mapping studies.

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