Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Details From a Short Life

After figuring out how to keep mayflies in the lab, researchers sequenced their genome to find that juvenile mayflies' gills have a number of roles, possibly including in the development of adult wings, Science reports.

Researchers from the Andalusian Center for Developmental Biology sequenced the genome and transcriptome of Cloeon dipterum, which is a sister group to all other winged insects and has an aquatic and airborne lifecycle. As they report in Nature Communications, the CABD-led team uncovered an expansion of odorant-binding-protein genes within the mayfly genome. Some of these genes, they further found, were expressed in the gills of aquatic nymphs, suggesting a new role for gills.

Craig Macadam from the UK nonprofit BugLife tells Science this "may help us understand more about how mayflies sense their surroundings."

Additionally, CABD researchers found that many genes that are active in the juvenile gills are also expressed in adult wings, suggesting that gills have a role in adult wing development. "The discovery of common genetic programming between gills and wings is another piece towards understanding the puzzling origins of insect wings — and flight," Purdue University's Luke Jacobus tells Science.

The Scan

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.

Study Finds Variants Linked to Diverticular Disease, Presents Polygenic Score

A new study in Cell Genomics reports on more than 150 genetic variants associated with risk of diverticular disease.

Mild, Severe Psoriasis Marked by Different Molecular Features, Spatial Transcriptomic Analysis Finds

A spatial transcriptomics paper in Science Immunology finds differences in cell and signaling pathway activity between mild and severe psoriasis.

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.