Olfactory gene evolution in flies - paper out now

Just published!

Kate Shaw’s PhD findings have provided a remarkable example of evolution in action - A gene called Or22 which is required for fruit flies to smell certain odours - exists in natural populations of flies as either a closely related gene pair sitting next to each other in the genome, where only one funtions, or as a chimera gene where the pair are perfectly fused leaving a single gene.

Kate found that flies with the chimera sense a suite of fruity odours very differently to flies carrying the two Or22 genes. This suggests that wild flies, depending upon their genetic makeup are likely to be experiencing fruit smells very differently to each other - which in turn suggests that this gene may play a big role in how flies adapt to different climates where different foods (with different smells) are found.

Check out the paper here!

Perforin-like proteins in development - review paper just published!

Be sure to read our short review entitled:

MACPF/CDC proteins in development: Insights from Drosophila Torso-like

This paper discusses many years of work trying to elucidate the function of the Perforin-like protein Torso-like which works in patterning of the early fly embryo.

Does it form pores or does it use an aspect of function related to pore formation instead? Why is this an important question to answer?


Developmental Biology workshop for PhD students

What a great morning of talks from our special guests Profs Eric Wieschaus and Schupbach! It's not everyday that you get a Nobel Laureate from your particular field come and talk to you and a small group of your fellow PhD students.

Fair to say that our PhD's are spoilt!!

Thanks to Dr Rob DeMatteo for helping to organise this wonderful event at Monash and BDI, Biol Sci, and Science Faculty for support. Congrats to our award winners and all who participated.