This project comprises preliminary directed genome and EST sequencing of two species of amphipod crustaceans. Parhyale hawaiensis is becoming an established “new model” organism for developmental studies within the arthropods. Jassa slatteryi is another related amphipod crustacean found to have an unusually small genome relative to other amphipods. These species have phylogenetically strategic positions with respect to current developmental models, to existing sequenced and in-progress genomes, and to each other. Both species have excellent potential as experimental organisms for studying developmental processes.
Directed genome sequencing of regions of interest to the developmental biology and evolutionary biology communities will generate invaluable research tools. The genomic sequence surrounding developmental genes of interest is essential for comparative studies aimed at understanding cis-regulatory evolution. Expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences will help in the discovery of additional developmental genes and further our understanding of how body patterning is controlled in these species. Furthermore, genome sequence from both species will establish in principle that sequencing of the Jassa slatteryi genome is viable and to what extent it will be informative of the larger Parhyale hawaiensis genome.
CSP project participants: Nipam H. Patel (proposer, UC Berkeley), Michael Akam (Univ. of Cambridge), Michalis Averof (Inst. of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Crete), Matthias Gerberding (Max Planck Inst. for Developmental Biology), Mark Q. Martindale (Univ. of Hawaii), Daniel S. Rokhsar (JGI and UC Berkeley), Maximilian Telford (University College, London, and Natural History Museum, London), and Ernst A. Wimmer (Univ. Göttingen).