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Posts Tagged ‘genomes’

A few months ago we learned via an unintentionally leaked press release that a team of researchers lead by Nicole Gerardo and Cameron Currie had won a Roche Applied Sciences grant competition.  The team will be sequencing the complete genome of 14 players from the ant/fungus/microbe co-evolutionary system, including three attine ants from different genera.

The announcement is now official.

An Acromyrmex queen, with brood, in the fungus garden

An Acromyrmex queen, with brood, in the fungus garden

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This weekend, Arizona State University is hosting a slate of myrmecologists to brainstorm on ant genomes.  I’d link to the meeting information, but apparently the gathering is so informal that they’ve not given the event a web page.  In any case, the topic is this:  in the age of (relatively) cheap genomes, which ants should we sequence? And, what should we do with the assembled data?

I originally planned to attend, but life intervenes and I’m frozen to the tundra of central Illinois.  Instead, I will register here a few suggestions about which species should considered, in addition to the already-funded projects (Harpegnathos, Camponotus, Solenopsis and Pheidole).  My criteria are twofold.  First, the ant must occupy a phylogenetic position that will maximise insight when considered with the exisiting genomes.  Second, the ant should have some additional property whose study will benefit from genomic information.  Here’s the list:

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