College of Arts and Sciences Department of Biology
Exciting New Research Reveals Find Out More!


An international team of researchers that included Dr. Duane McKenna recently published a paper on the genome of a remarkable new species of insect in the enigmatic order Strepsiptera (aka twisted-wing parasites). Their paper, featured on the cover of the July 24th issue of the journal Current Biology, is a notable achievement for Dr. McKenna and the University of Memphis, because in addition to reporting on the first Strepsiptera genome, it contains genome sequences from a primitive beetle – the first animal genome sequenced and assembled by a University of Memphis researcher. Dr. McKenna, a specialist on beetles, is now sequencing and assembling several additional beetle genomes. His work in beetle genomics started in 2010, shortly after his arrival at the University of Memphis and was facilitated by the Feinstone Center for Genomic Research and the Program in Bioinformatics. His current studies include the ladybug genome (funded in part by the University of Memphis FedEx Institute of Technology) and the genome of the Asian long-horned beetle, a wood-boring pest introduced from Asia that could cause billions of dollars of damage to hardwood forests (a collaboration with the Insect 5000 Genomes Project).


Dr. Duane McKenna
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Last Updated: 2/4/13