Project properties

Title De-evolution of the wing: functional analysis of candidate genes for wing morphology in the wasp Nasonia vitripennis
Group Entomology, Laboratory of
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) Filippo Guerra (ENT), Eveline Verhulst (ENT), Bart Pannebakker (GEN)
Examiner(s) Marcel Dicke (ENT)
Contact info
Begin date 2020/01/31
End date 2020/01/31
Description Wing morphology is an important trait underlying insects´┐Ż flight ability and ultimately several aspects of their ecology. To investigate the genetic basis of wing morphology, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis. We found several SNPs with a clear effect on wing size and shape, but to establish causative evidence of these SNPs we need to perform functional analysis of the genes pinpointed by the GWAS.
In this project, we want to use RNAi-mediated knock-down of our candidate genes, to provide functional evidence of their role in the in wing morphology variation in Nasonia vitripennis. Such evidence is crucial if we want to determine the pathways involved in wing formation and the way that evolution affects (and is affected by) them.
In this project you will:
- find candidate genes based on their ontology and expression pattern;
- design the dsRNA and perform RNAi knock-downs via microinjections;
- use qPCR to determine knock-down efficiency;
- phenotype RNAi treated wasps
The project is based in the Laboratory of Entomology and the Laboratory of Genetics and needs a student with a strong background in molecular biology.
Used skills microinjection, RNA interference, quantitative RT-PCR, functional analysis, insect rearing and phenotyping
Requirements : ENT-30806 + a second ENT-course (preferably ENT-30306 or ENT-50806 or ENT-53806). As an alternative for the second ENT-course, PHP-30806 or BHE-30306 can be selected.
These requirements do not apply for MBI students; MBI students should check the requirements for doing an ENT MSc-thesis in the study programme of their specialisation.