Submitted to: Proceedings of Tennessee Entomological Society Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 13, 2005
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Insects are amazingly diverse, including up to 200 million species. The study of entomology encompasses a wide range of topics from biochemistry to ecology and from conservation to extermination. One of the most important recent contributions to science has been the utility of one insect, Drosophila melanogaster, commonly known as the fruit fly, in the study of genetics. The complete sequencing of the genome of D. melanogaster was a monmentous achievement for science in general, and also for entomology. The success of the Drosophila genome project provided impetus for sequencing of other insects, beginning with the malaria mosquito. Other public and private genome sequencing projects have resulted in robust sets of genomic information from a beetle, the domestic honeybee, and the domestic silk moth. Other insects sceduled for sequencing include eleven additional species of fruit fly, a tiny wasp, an aphid, and a bloodfeeding bug that spreads a debilitating disease. While entomologists might argue that the state of genomic sequencing does not fully represent the vast diversity of insects, enormous progress has been achieved, and may serve as a springboard for wide application of genomic integration with other entomological topics from biochemistry to ecology and from conservation to extermination.