Publications: Sequencing and imaging in tsetse flies and termites

Last week was Bug Week@UF, a multimedia event geared towards educating Floridians’ on the pros and cons of insects, showcasing projects and programs across campus, and highlighting the strength of the university’s entomology program.

At ICBR, our scientists routinely work across disciplines. It’s right in our name, Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research.  Our interdisciplinary approach exposes ICBR to the work of scientists from human medicine to biomedical engineering to entomology.

Focusing on one UF entomology professor and ICBR customer, Drion Boucias has published several insect-related papers in coordination with ICBR core laboratories. Boucias says working with ICBR in “monoclonal antibodies, Sanger sequencing, and Proteomics labs have all contributed to my research in insect science. I rely on these [ICBR] people.”

Most recently, a publication in PLOSone looks at the tsetse fly (Glossina spp) in Africa. An Important vector of the animal and human disease trypanosomosis, tsetse flies are known to harbor a symbiome (the compilation of gut microbes) that is vertically transmitted to progeny larvae. Studies led by Boucias, and in conjunction with ICBR’s Karen Kelley and scientists at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), demonstrated that antibiotic treatments suppressed the levels of associated symbiotic bacteria and effectively blocked the development of symptomatic infection by an associated hytrosavirus. These findings suggest that this dsDNA insect virus has evolved in close association with the symbiome to mediate the switch from the asymptomatic (latent) to symptomatic state.

Boucias, D., Kariithi, H.M., Bourtzis, K., Schneider, D.I., Kelley, K., Miller, W., Parker, A.G., Adb-Alla, A.M.M. (2013). Transgenerational Transmission of the Glossina pallidipes Hytrosavirus Depends on the Presence of a Functional Symbiome. PLoS ONE, 8(4), e61150.

In addition to international insect studies, Boucias’ work has also focused on salivary gland hypertrophy viruses in the house fly and digestive properties in the termite, two frequent Florida pests. He has utilized the ICBR Electron Microscopy core lab, Sanger Sequencing core lab, and NextGen DNA Sequencing core lab for imaging and sequencing services.

Boucias has published several other papers recently after utilizing ICBR Genomics core laboratories. These include two termite research publications:

Boucias, D., Cai, Y., Sun, Y., Lietze, V.U., Sen, R., Raychoudhury, R., and Sharf, M.E. (2013). The hindgut lumen prokaryotic microbiota of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes and its responses to dietary lignocellulose composition. Molecular Ecology, 22, 1836-1853.

Raychoudhury, R., Sen, R., Cai, Y., Sun, Y., Lietze, V.U., Boucias, D.G., and Sharf, M.E. (2012). Comparative metatranscriptomic signatures of wood and paper feeding in the gut of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Insect Molecular Biology, 22(2), 155-171.




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