Researchers have sequenced the first genome involving a cockroach species that could one day serve as a model system similar to how research on mice can be applied The model may offer new insights into how stress during pregnancy can impact both the mother and her unborn child. In February, Emily Jennings, a doctoral student in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, will present a study using RNA-sequencing analysis of pregnant insects at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology annual meeting. Jan. 25 is the date of the meeting. This year’s Portland Music Festival will be held from March 3-7. Unlike the cockroaches that send us running for the bug spray when they are found in our homes, the research topic does not revolve around those. Diploptera punctata, a beetle mimic cockroach not considered a pest in human habitats, is smaller and not considered a pest near humans. This species is native to the Polynesian Islands, where it is found mostly RNA, found in living organisms, was extracted to develop a transcriptome — the gene readouts within a cell — to analyze what happens during different developmental stages of cockroach pregnancy, and to determine whether those changes hold greater significance for In addition to mated, but not pregnant, there were four stages in the reproductive cycle Pregnancy before delivery of the baby A comparison of the expression of specific genes unique to each stage of lactation during early and late pregnancy was achieved by comparing male and female samples. In the two-and-a-half years since I began working on this project, we may have had as many as 80 genes sequenced for this animal, The number of genes found has increased to 11,000 now. Using sequences from the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s database, we are assigning functions, roles, and names to sequences based on differences between the dataset and previously sequenced genomes like that of the fruit fly.

Our team is developing an exciting resource that will help researchers examine how a mother nourishes her babies before the birth of a baby, a process typically associated with mammals, During the development of its eggs, this particular cockroach generates milky fluid that provides protein, carbohydrates, and other nutritional elements for them — a process that is relatively uncommon in insects but comparable to the placenta of pregnant women. It takes the pregnant cockroach between 60-70 days for the eggs to develop, while she expands and holds 15 of them. When they are born, the babies are white. As their exoskeleton hardens, they turn into the characteristic brown color. A presentation by Jennings took place in January. The focus of part 7 will be on the gene expression that occurs during the process and whether any genes are responsible for the initiation or termination of this In order for the roach to reproduce, it must have at least two reproductive cycles. They have a lifespan of three to seven According to Jennings, the next step will be to assess how interactions between the mother and embryos can be altered. If the mother is exposed to toxins or deprived of resources like food and water during pregnancy, for instance, we want to find out whether that affects embryo growth. This would be called the mother-offspring conflict and an example of this would be how gestational diabetes affects both pregnant women and their babies, says The first study of this kind has not looked at insects that give birth to babies that were fed during pregnancy, Jennings adds. The housing and feeding of insects is significantly less expensive than traditional animal research models such as mice, a savings of hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Jennings says that the cockroaches in the facility have over 1,000 individuals, a number that is enormous compared with what can be kept as rodents in a small area. There is an estimate that the cockroaches consume the equivalent of an entire bag of dog food that can be kept