2018 Winner: Sequencing and Assembly of Varroa Destructor Genome

Project Information
Sequencing and Assembly of Varroa Destructor Genome
BME129 series, Team name: B.A.J.A.S
Varroa destructor is a mite that affects honeybees. It has a massive economic impact, spreads viruses that can be fatal to infected bees, and appears to play a role in Colony Collapse Disorder. There's a lot that isn't known about Varroa destructor, such as the chemical mechanism of its lifecycle in a beehive and how certain mite treatments work. Some of this information might be gleaned by taking a closer look at Varroa destructor's genome. With the goal of making this more feasible to the scientific community, we completed DNA extraction, sequencing, and assembly of a reference genome for Varroa destructor. Hi-C, Illumina, and MinION sequencing technologies were used to map out genomic information from mites sourced locally. We developed an assembly pipeline to put these three datasets together, and will have the Hi-C portion of the pipeline completed in the spring. Our reference is different from existing ones in that it includes data from MinION technology, which can allow for a high-quality genome, and Hi-C technology, which includes genomic interaction data-- a source of information not revealed through typical genomic technologies. Ultimatley we hope that our work aids researchers in further understanding the genetic makeup of Varroa Destructor, which in turn can help reduce the depletion of honeybee populations.
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  • Blaise Arman Nasri (Stevenson)
  • Aisling L O'Farrell (Ten)
  • Juan Carlos Perez (Crown)
  • Adam Lamine Zoubeidi (Eight)
  • Samuel Robert Royle (Cowell)