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Trainee defends masters thesis

Trainee Achievements

Trainee defends masters thesis

William Klobasa defended his masters thesis in Entomology in November 2012. His thesis and seminar title was "Annotation and Functional Analysis of a Unique Family of Bacteria-Like Genes in the Red Flour Beetle, Trillium castaneum". He reported the presence of a class of genes in Trillium castaneum which exhibit sequence similarity to bacterial genes of the PD-(D/E)XK nuclease superfamily. He detected members of this gene family for the first time in higher eukaryotes and explored the possibility of horizontal gene transfer to explain the obscure history of inheritance. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that these genes have undergone expansion within Trillium, encompassing > 7 subfamilies which are scattered throughout the genome (> 8 different linkage groups). All insects receiving a dsRNA treatment specific for all 7 subfamilies died, indicating that one subfamily of these genes has acquired an essential function in a eukaryote. He hypothesizes gene fusion may be responsible.