Research publication
Assist. Prof. of Biology Patrick Feree
Patrick Ferree, Assistant Professor of Biology in Keck Science, and his co-workers at Caltech published an article on gene expression from a 'selfish' chromosome in the journal G3: Genes, Genomics, Genetics. The selfish B chromosome, PSR (for Paternal Sex Ratio), completely destroys the entire paternal half of the genome in its host, the jewel wasp, in order to be transmitted. The researchers hypothesized that PSR may express its own genes that facilitate paternal genome elimination. To identify such genes, they sequenced the entire transcriptome (the RNA products of all expressed genes) in the wasp testis -- the likely tissue and developmental phase of PSR action. This work led to the discovery of nine transcripts that are uniquely expressed from PSR. Their article explores the characteristics of these transcripts and predicts how they might function. The study also reports the first-ever complete testis transcriptome for any hymenopteran insect (includes all ants, bees and wasps), an important resource for future studies of reproductive development in this prominent insect group.  


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