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: http://www.rochester.edu/newscenter/firefly-researchers-mapping-worlds-second-most-interesting-genome-269372/.

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:

http://www.cell.com/trends/ecology-evolution/abstract/S0169-5347%2816%2900043-4

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