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/.