Emerging model spedies driven by transciptomics
This work is focused on 'emerging model species', i.e. question-driven model species which have sufficient molecular resources to investigate a specific phenomenon in molecular biology, developmental biology, molecular ecology and evolution or related molecular fields. This thesis shows how transcriptomic data can be generated, analyzed, and used to investigate such phenomena of interest even in species lacking a reference genome. The initial ButterflyBase resource has proven to be useful to researchers of species without a reference genome but is limited to the Lepidoptera and supports only the older Sanger sequencing technologies. Thanks to Next Generation Sequencing, transcriptome sequencing is more cost effective but the bottleneck of transcriptomic projects is now the bioinformatic analysis and data mining/dissemination. Therefore, this work continues with presenting novel and innovative approaches which effectively overcome this bottleneck. The est2assembly software produces deeply annotated reference transcriptomes stored in the Chado database. The Drupal Bioinformatic Server Framework and genes4all provide species-neutral and an innovative approach in building standardized online databases and associated web services. All public insect mRNA data were analyzed with est2assembly and genes4all to produce the InsectaCentral. With InsectaCentral, a powerful resource is now available to assist molecular biology in any question-driven model insect species. The software presented here was developed according to specifications of the General Model Organism Database (GMOD) community. All software specifications are species-neutral and can be seamlessly deployed to assist any research community. Further through a case studies chapter, it becomes apparent that the transcriptomic approach is more cost-effective than a genomic approach and therefore sequence-driven evolutionary biology will benefit faster with this field.