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
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 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ 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
The Changing Tides of the In Vitro Diagnostics Market
With the increasing focus in personalized medicine, diagnostics plays a crucial role in patient monitoring.
Genetic Overlapping in Multiple Autoimmune Diseases May Suggest Common Therapies
CHOP genomics expert leads analysis of genetic architecture, with eye on repurposing existing drugs.
Surprising Mechanism Behind Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Uncovered
Now, scientists at TSRI have discovered that the important human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, develops resistance to this drug by “switching on” a previously uncharacterized set of genes.
Data Mining DNA For Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Genes
A new Northwestern Medicine genome-wide association study of PCOS – the first of its kind to focus on women of European ancestry – has provided important new insights into the underlying biology of the disorder.
Viral Comparisons
ORNL team applies genomics expertise to analyze, map virus sequence database.
The Tree of Life — More Like A Bush
New species evolve whenever a lineage splits off into several. Because of this, the kinship between species is often described in terms of a ‘tree of life’, where every branch constitutes a species.
Ancient Origins of Deadly Lassa Virus Uncovered
Working as part of an international team in North America and West Africa, a researcher at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has published new findings showing the ancient roots of the deadly Lassa virus, a relative of Ebola virus, and how Lassa virus has changed over time.
Furthering Data Analysis of Next-gen Sequencing to Facilitate Research
Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have developed a user-friendly, integrated platform for analyzing the transcriptomic and epigenomic "big data.
Statistical Technique Helps Researchers Understand Tumor Makeup, Personalize Cancer Treatments
A new statistical method for analyzing next-generation sequencing (NGS) data that helps researchers study the genome of various organisms such as human tumors and could help bring about personalized cancer treatments has been unveiled.
‘Fishing Expedition’ Nets Nearly Tenfold Increase in Number of Sequenced Virus Genomes
Newly developed computational tool finds 12,500 genomes of viruses that infect microbes.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
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
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!