College of Food, Ag & Nat Res Sci
These researchers are using next-generation sequencing (NGS) to construct food webs of generalist predators, pollinators, and their foods . For predators, this involves NGS sequencing of the gut contents followed by matching the sequences against mitogenome databases with custom scripts, and/or amplification of barcode regions in the gut contents using "universal" barcode primers, which involves designing "universal" degenerate primers and matching against barcode databases. For pollinators, this involves NGS sequencing of pollen loads, either after amplification by metabarcode primers, or direct sequencing followed by genome assembly and matching against species databases.
The researchers are also investigating the structure of the insect olfactory system, using transcriptomics to mine potential olfactory transcripts, followed by functional verification.