TOOLS: Tagging Honeybee Genes

Science  01 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5560, pp. 1607e
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5560.1607e

Entomologists are buzzing over the prospect of sequencing the honeybee genome, but the project hasn't taken off. However, you can still explore part of the bee genome with this database of expressed sequence tags, or ESTs, fragments of genes that were fished from the brains of the insects. Up and running for 3 months, the site allows you to search the EST catalog for particular sequences and find out which ESTs match segments of Drosophila genes. Using a standard vocabulary of “Gene Ontology” terms, you can hunt for ESTs by their putative function, the biological process they might participate in, or the cellular components they might help build. Neurobiologist Gene Robinson of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and colleagues compiled the database to aid studies of the molecular biology of honeybee behavior. The collection will also provide signposts for the eventual sequencing of the entire genome, Robinson says.

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