A paper titled, “Sexual repurposing of juvenile aposematism in locusts” has been published by Dr. Greg Sword (Texas A&M University) and his colleagues. This work has been highlighted in the Texas A&M AgriLife Today: Study identifies sex-adapted color-change gene in locusts.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has finished the automated annotation of the Central American locust genome, Schistocerca piceifrons, as of March 28, 2022. This is the second of a set of six genomes that will be processed by NCBI in the coming months and builds up on the release of the Schistocerca americana genome a few weeks ago. The new annotated genome is available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genome/annotation_euk/Schistocerca_piceifrons/100/
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has finished the automated annotation of the American bird grasshopper genome, Schistocerca americana, as of March 23, 2022. This is the first of a set of six genomes that will be processed by NCBI in the coming months and represents an important milestone for the BPRI. The new annotated genome is available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genome/annotation_euk/Schistocerca_americana/100/
A paper titled “Invariant odor recognition with ON–OFF neural ensembles” has been published by Dr. Barani Raman and his team at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL). The work has been highlighted in the WUSTL newsroom: “The ‘surprisingly simple’ arithmetic of smell”.
Mr. Hector Medina, Coordinator, National Grasshopper and Locust Program of the National Food Safety and Quality Service of Argentina recently met with the BPRI outreach committee to share his experience in locust management activities in Argentina. He explained that Argentina mostly follows a farmer-centered mitigation approach. He emphasized that the most critical outcome that his program expects from the BPRI is to provide information on biological factors that contribute to changing the ‘solitarious’ and ‘gregarious’ phases of grasshoppers. These biological factors will help improve the early warning system predicting locust swarming and ultimately help reduce crop harm.
Dr. Peterson explained:
“Microbes are often the invisible drivers of many characteristics that we assume to be determined by the host itself or by the environment. In insects, gut bacteria are known to manipulate a seemingly endless list of traits including behavior, growth, food preferences, and mate selection. These are all traits that may have impacts on locust swarming and migration. I think that understanding the composition of bacterial communities in the locust guts and seeing if they change during phase change can be important for both pesticide and biocontrol efforts to combat swarms.”
Congratulations to Sai Prasada Manikonda and Sreeram Satish, two high school students working with Herman Dierick! Their poster on orthologs of pigmentation genes in Schistocerca gregaria won first place in the high school category of the 2020 Sigma Xi Student National Research Conference.
The BPRI in its starting phase has positions open at several levels. Please see our Jobs page for details.
The inaugural press release of the BPRI is available here.