CRISPR/Cas9 mosaic knockout of red patterning gene optix in Heliconius melpomene
In the last decade, CRISPR/Cas9 has emerged as an essential tool for genome editing and we have worked hard to apply these methods to butterflies. We use CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to functionally validate candidate genes and study gene function by generating knock-outs. We are also working to expand the CRISPR methodology toolkit in butterflies and make them an even more tractable experimental system. In addition to CRISPR/Cas9, we utilize a variety of other methods to study functional genomics in butterflies, including comparative transcriptomics, ChIP-Seq, ATAC-Seq and RNAi.
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Bayala, E. X., I. Cisneros, D. Massardo, N. W. VanKuren and M. R. Kronforst. 2022. Divergent expression of aristaless1 and aristaless2 is associated with embryonic appendage and pupal wing development in butterflies. bioRxiv 2022.09.28.509918. bioRxiv preprint
Bayala, E., N. VanKuren, D. Massardo and M. R. Kronforst. 2021. From the formation of embryonic appendages to the color of wings: Conserved and novel roles of aristaless1 in butterfly development. bioRxiv 2021.12.02.470931. bioRxiv preprint
Westerman, E., N. VanKuren, D. Massardo, A. Tenger-Trolander, W. Zhang, R. I. Hill, M. Perry, E. Bayala, K. Barr, N. Chamberlain, T. E. Douglas, N. Buerkle, S. E. Palmer and M. R. Kronforst. 2018. Aristaless controls butterfly wing color variation used in mimicry and mate choice. Current Biology 28: 3469-3474. ScienceDaily Futurity Phys.org
Mazo-Vargas, A., C. Concha, L. Livraghi, D. Massardo, R. W. R. Wallbank, L. Zhang, J. D. Papador, D. Martinez-Najera, C. D. Jiggins, M. R. Kronforst, C. J. Breuker, R. D. Reed, N. H. Patel, W. O. McMillan and A. Martin. 2017. Macro-evolutionary shifts of WntA function potentiate butterfly wing pattern diversity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 114: 10701−10706. Nature News & Views Washington Post NY Times Science Magazine The Atlantic
Li, X., D. Fan, W. Zhang, G. Liu, L. Zhang, L. Zhao, X. Fang, L. Chen, Y. Dong, Y. Chen, Y. Ding, R. Zhao, M. Feng, Y. Zhu, Y. Feng, X. Jiang, D. Zhu, H. Xiang, X. Feng, S. Li, J. Wang, G. Zhang, M. R. Kronforst and W. Wang. 2015. Outbred genome sequencing and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing in butterflies. Nature Communications 6: 8212. IGTRCN