Category Archives: Miscellaneous

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:

Review on the ecology and evolutionary dynamics of meiotic drive

This summer, over 20 biologists studying meiotic drive in a variety of taxa (including flies, plants, mice, birds and fungi) gathered in the Swiss Alps for a workshop to discuss the outstanding questions on meiotic drive. We were thrilled to be a part of this group. One product of this workshop was a review on the ecology and evolutionary dynamics of drive. You can read the review here:

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