Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Next Gen Sequencing
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Tsetse Fly Genome Sequenced

Published: Friday, April 25, 2014
Last Updated: Monday, April 28, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Research opens the door to scientific breakthroughs that could reduce or end African sleeping sickness in sub-Saharan Africa.

An international team of researchers led by the Yale School of Public Health has successfully sequenced the genetic code of the tsetse fly.

It took nearly 10 years and more than 140 scientists from numerous countries to map the genome of the fly, also known as Glossina morsitans. Tsetse flies are the sole insect vectors of a disease that threatens the health of millions of people and devastates livestock herds.

The genetic blueprint will provide researchers with the codes for the proteins that make up the tsetse fly, which is slightly larger than a common housefly. It is essentially a “parts list” of what the organism is made from. Access to the blueprint is expected to accelerate research into the tsetse fly’s unique biology and promote the development of improved tsetse control methods as well as the development of new control strategies.

“This is a major milestone for the tsetse research community,” said Geoffrey M. Attardo, a research scientist at the Yale School of Public Health and the paper’s lead author. “Our hope is that this resource will facilitate functional research and be an ongoing contribution to the vector biology community.” The effort has already resulted in eight research articles that expand on the genome data using functional genomics methods and are being published under the banner “Tsetse Genome Biology Collection” in the PLOS-wide journals.

While there are drugs to combat sleeping sickness, they are expensive, have many undesirable side effects, and are difficult to administer in wide swaths of rural Africa where the disease is most pronounced. Left untreated, sleeping sickness is 100% fatal.

The researchers had to overcome numerous challenges — technical, biological and economic — in order to decipher the complete sequence. As with most genome projects the researchers had to limit their analysis to a single genetic line in order to improve the assembly of small fragments of sequence data — thousands of letters of code — into large scaffolds that contain millions of letters of code. This became an issue because only a small amount of genetic material is obtainable from each fly, and unlike other insects, one tsetse female gives birth to very few offspring. The genome contains approximately 366 million letters of code, which is equivalent to about 10% of those in the human genome.

School of Public Health professor Serap Aksoy helped initiate the collaborative research project in the early 2000s when she and a small group of other researchers concluded that progress against the disease and new tsetse-based control opportunities would be stymied unless the biological and chemical underpinnings of the organism were completely understood. The consortium was initiated with seed funding from the World Health Organization.  “We are very happy to finally reach the finish line,” Aksoy said. “Our hope is that tsetse research will now enjoy broader participation from the vector community and lead to improved and novel methods to eliminate disease.”

The tsetse fly project cost approximately $10 million and was funded over the years from multiple public and private sources, including the Wellcome Trust, the World Health Organization Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, and the Ambrose Monell Foundation. The genome was sequenced and assembled at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Data from the project is currently being hosted by Vectorbase and is publicly available for download or for direct analysis on the website using a comprehensive set of browsing, search and analysis tools.

The study is published in the journal Science. 


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Gene Testing Now Allows Precision Medicine for Thoracic Aneurysms
Researchers at the Aortic Institute at Yale have tested the genomes of more than 100 patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms, a potentially lethal condition, and provided genetically personalized care.
Monday, July 20, 2015
A Faster, Less Expensive Way To Analyze Gene Activity
Yale researchers have devised a method that could reduce the time and cost of analyzing gene activity.
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Gene that Causes Obesity-Related Metabolic Syndrome Identified
Yale-led research has identified a genetic mutation responsible for the cluster of cardiovascular risk factors that comprise the obesity-related “metabolic syndrome.”
Friday, May 16, 2014
Scientific News
NASA's DNA Sequencing in Space is a Success
DNA has been sequenced in space for the first time ever for the Biomolecule Sequencer investigation, using the MinION sequencing device.
New Inflammatory Disease Discovered
NIH researchers have discovered a rare and potentially deadly disease - otulipenia - the mostly affects children.
Bringing NGS to the Crime Lab
New technology being validated in BCI lab for use in Ohio missing persons cases.
Expanding Knowledge of Viral Diversity
Environmental datasets help researchers double the number of microbial phyla known to be infected by viruses.
How Cloud Connectivity Can Combat the Reproducibility Crisis
This infographic explains the reproducibility crisis, and how cloud connectivity can help overcome this problem.
The Power of Model Systems
New insights into the influence of host on the gut microbiome are revealed with in situ light sheet fluorescence microscopy and stochastic mathematical modelling.
New Way To Measure Important Chemical Modification On RNA
Technology could advance stem cells’ use in regenerative medicine, UCLA researchers say.
Mapping Antibody Creation in Humans
Researchers have created the first, detailed map of the body's antibody production, which could suggest new treatment options for immune disorders.
Decoding the Genome of the Olive Tree
A team of scientists from three Spanish centers has sequenced, for the first time ever, the complete genome of the olive tree. This work will facilitate genetic improvement for production of olives and olive oil, two key products in the Spanish economy and diet.
Four Newly-Identified Genes Could Improve Rice
A Japanese research team have applied a method used in human genetic analysis to rice and rapidly discovered four new genes that are potentially significant for agriculture. These findings could influence crop breeding and help combat food shortages caused by a growing population.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!