Emerging developmental genetic model systems in holometabolous insects

Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
Urs Schmidt-Ott, Jeremy A Lynch

Abstract

The number of insect species that are amenable to functional genetic studies is growing rapidly and provides many new research opportunities in developmental and evolutionary biology. The holometabolous insects represent a disproportionate percentage of animal diversity and are thus well positioned to provide model species for a wide variety of developmental processes. Here we discuss emerging holometabolous models, and review some recent breakthroughs. For example, flies and midges were found to use structurally unrelated long-range pattern organizers, butterflies and moths revealed extensive pattern formation during oogenesis, new imaging possibilities in the flour beetle Tribolium castaneum showed how embryos break free of their extraembryonic membranes, and the complex genetics governing interspecies difference in head shape were revealed in Nasonia wasps.

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Related Concepts

Metazoa
Oogenesis
Phylogeny
Tribolium
Evolution, Molecular
Embryonic Pattern Formation
Diagnostic Imaging
Embryo
Insecta
Wasps

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