Firefly chromosomes

Photinus pyralis mitotic chromosomes Image: Isaac Wong

Firefly season is over. It only lasts a couple of months here in Rochester. We rear fireflies in the lab over the summer to study the chromosomal distributions of their repeats. This is challenging for a number of reasons, one being that Photinus pyralis¬†chromosomes typically appear as amorphous little blobs under the microscope. We spend a few months of each summer trying to find good ways to image chromosomes in the short time that we have with the¬† fireflies. In the last week of this summer, Isaac Wong (an undergrad in the lab) optimized protocols to find chromosomes – and they don’t look like amorphous blobs!¬†

A few weeks later, UR wrote an article on fireflies that mentions our work. You can read it here: http://www.rochester.edu/newscenter/firefly-researchers-mapping-worlds-second-most-interesting-genome-269372/.