Published: Donald Price

Donald Price (Life Sciences) was part of a team including scientists from UC Berkeley, Purdue University, University of Chicago, and Stanford University, that published an article in the October issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution titled "Horizontal Transfer of Bacterial Cytolethal Distending Toxin B Genes to Insects."  They investigated the role that horizontal gene transfer events have played in the evolution of animals. They report on the horizontal gene transfer of cytolethal distending toxin B (cdtB), prokaryotic genes encoding eukaryote-targeting DNase I toxins, into the genomes of vinegar flies (Diptera: Drosophilidae) and aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae). They found insect-encoded cdtB genes are most closely related to orthologs from bacteriophage that infect Candidatus Hamiltonella defensa, a bacterial mutualistic symbiont of aphids that confers resistance to parasitoid wasps. In drosophilids, cdtB orthologs are highly expressed during the parasitoid-prone larval stage and encode a protein with ancestral DNase activity. They show that cdtB has been domesticated by diverse insects and hypothesize that it functions in defense against their natural enemies. This manuscript was fast-tracked for publication receiving the highest enthusiasm from MBE’s reviewers and editors.

People in the News

A portrait of Joseph Regalia.
People | July 13, 2020
While the law professor misses being on campus, remote teaching is allowing him to plow further into his passion for technology.
People | July 9, 2020
Determination and a crucial letter from a Nursing faculty member allowed Alyssa Macleod to get back into the country just in time for her clinical classes.
People | July 8, 2020
Toyokazu “Chris” Endo plans to feed his appetite for service by becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon.