Single-nematode RNA-seq protocol published!

In collaboration with the Mortazavi lab at UC Irvine, we optimized a protocol for performing RNA-seq on single nematodes. The protocol was published today in Bio-protocol. Congratulations to Dennis and Dihong from our lab, and Lorrayne, Marissa, Katherine, and Rabi from the Mortazavi lab. This protocol should be useful to fellow nematologists and worm herders.

Undergraduates represent our lab at SICB

Undergraduate students Valentina Alonso, Lauren Braun, Kassandra Kin, and Nathan Mercado each presented research at the annual Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. The meeting was in San Francisco this year and the students had a great time. Their hard work paid off as they were able to present their research and learn about some of the exciting things being done in integrative and comparative biology.

From left to right (Lauren Braun, Kassandra Kin, Valentina Alonso, and Nathan Mercado).

Genome of X. innexi published!

Today our study of the X. innexi genome was published in BMC Genomics. Sudarshan Aryal, who is now a Senior Scientist in Nematology at Marrone Bio Innovations, was 2nd author on the paper. Specialist parasites are particularly interesting and Steinernema scapterisci is one of the few known specialist EPN parasites. We were interested to find that its bacterial symbiont, X. innexi, seems to be virtually avirulent to insect hosts, suggesting that the nematodes no longer rely on the bacteria to kill their insect hosts. Congratulations Sudarshan and our collaborators on this nice genomic study.

Visiting Scholar Dr. Keyun Zhang returns to China.

We have thoroughly enjoyed having Dr. Keyun Zhang as a visiting scholar in our lab. She has worked on the nematode Oscheius chongmingensis and Steinernema carpocapsae in our lab over the last year. We are currently working on publishing the results of her efforts. We look forward to continuing collaborations between the Dillman and Zhang labs.

Genetics Society of America Early Career Spotlight

Tiffany Baiocchi was the focus of a recent early career spotlight by the Genetics Society of America (GSA).
She serves as a member of the Diversity Subcommittee for the GSA. Tiffany is committed to teaching and mentoring others. She has participated in mentoring 15 undergraduate students in the lab, she is a Science Olympiad coach at Martin Luther King High School, she is a participant in the diversity education program at UCR, and she is an engaged and enthusiastic teaching assistant. She is a key member of the lab and we appreciate all that she does.

Sudarshan’s paper on Mole cricket microbes has been published.

We’re pleased to congratulate Sudarshan Aryal on his hard work investigating the microbes associated with mole crickets. This work was done in collaboration with Derreck Carter-House and Jason Stajich and was recently published in Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. Congratulations!!

Book Chapter Published on Genetic Improvement of EPN

We just published a book chapter in “Entomopathogenic and Slug Parasitic Nematodes,” by CABI press. The chapter is titled “Genetic improvement of entomopathogenic nematodes for enhanced biological control.” Congratulations to Tiffany for her hard work. It only took two years from when we finished writing it to actually seeing it published.

Tiffany Publishes Her Story on Prenol

Congratulations to Tiffany Baiocchi for her recent paper, “Host seeking parasitic nematodes use specific odors to assess host resources.” In this paper she identifies volatile odors that parasitic nematodes use to differentiate between infected and uninfected insect hosts. The lab is proud of her hard work. We published a nice paper today!

Her paper also made the news at UCR:

Undergraduate Researchers Winning Awards

This summer we have several students who have won awards or successfully competed for summer research opportunities.
Kassandra Kin was accepted into the Computational Entomology REU program at UCR and will be continuing her research in our lab over the summer ( Congratulations Kassandra!

Nathan Mercado was accepted into the RISE program at UCR this summer and will be continuing his research in our lab as part of the program ( Congratulations Nathan!

Valentina Alonso was awarded a MARC U STAR award from UCR, which will fund the remaining two years of her bachelor degree at UCR and provide research opportunities this and next summer ( Congratulations Valentina!