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Markus Friedrich

Wayne State University
Department of Biological Sciences
5047 Gullen Mall
Detroit, MI 48236


Taxa Studied: Invertebrate Animals
Techniques Employed: Degenerate PCR, Solexa (Illumina) Sequencing, Bioinformatics/Sequence Analysis, In Situ Hybridization, Confocal Microscopy, RNA interference(RNAi)
Research Description: Much in genetics, development, and neurobiology has been learned from studying a small winged invertebrate, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Because of its general significance as molecular genetic model system, it is often overlooked that Drosophila is a highly specialized insect. Its maggot like larva is headless. As a consequence, the large compound eyes of the adult fly are not formed during development of the embryo, but inside the larva. This distinguishes Drosophila greatly from primitive insects and most animals in general, where eye development begins in the embryo. To elucidate the sequence of events that were responsible for the origin of the unique form of Drosophila visual development, we investigate the phylogenetic history as well as the developmental evolution of the Drosophila visual system integrating molecular phylogenetics, comparative development and genomic approaches. Our animal models include the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum, other darkling beetle allies like the meal worm Tenebrio molitor, and the small carrion cave beetle Ptomaphagus hirtus.
Lab Web Page: http://sites.google.com/site/friedrichlab/
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: YES
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