Applying for Funding
Symposia and Workshops
Finding a Lab
Join the EDEN Network
Participating Labs
Research Exchange Experiences
Steering Committee
Extavour Lab
lab profile


Leslie Pick

University of Maryland
4112 Plant Sciences Building
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 29742


Taxa Studied: Invertebrate animals - arthropods/insects
Techniques Employed: Antibody staining, in situ hybridization, transgenesis, gene isolation, RNAi, PCR, microscopy, Keywords: evo-devo segmentation Hox genes insulin signaling
Research Description: Homeobox containing (Hox) genes are highly conserved throughout the animal kingdom where they play key roles in patterning the body plan during embryonic development. Despite the conservation of structure and function of these Hox genes, the body plans of different animal species are widely diverse. We are examining the function and evolution of Hox genes in order to understand (1) how they act as transcription factors to regulate expression of genes involved in morphogenesis and (2) how they have changed during evolution to promote morphological diversification. Much of our work has focused on one Hox gene - fushi tarazu (ftz) - that has changed in function during arthropod evolution from a homeotic gene to a segmentation gene in Drosophila melanogaster. Our studies have revealed surprising diversity in the expression patterns and coding sequences of ftz genes throughout the arthropods raising questions about constraint and variation in embryonic regulatory genes.
Lab Web Page: http://entomology.umd.edu/picklab
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: NO
Copyright © 2010 EDEN Evo-Devo-Eco Network. All Rights Reserved. Site designed by Academic Web Pages.
EDEN Logo: Daniel Christianson. Logo Image: Frederike Alwes.