Elizabeth Jenness Duncan

Elizabeth Jenness Duncan
University of Leeds · School of Biology

PhD

About

108
Publications
41,696
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3,396
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2007 - present
University of Otago
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (108)
Article
Full-text available
The hallmark of eusociality is the reproductive division of labour, in which one female caste reproduces, while reproduction is constrained in the subordinate caste. In adult worker honeybees (Apis mellifera) reproductive constraint is conditional: in the absence of the queen and brood, adult worker honeybees activate their ovaries and lay haploid...
Article
Patterning of the terminal regions of the Drosophila embryo is achieved by an exquisitely regulated signal that passes between the follicle cells of the ovary, and the developing embryo. This pathway, however, is missing or modified in other insects. Here we trace the evolution of this pathway by examining the origins and expression of its componen...
Article
The pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) can reproduce either sexually or asexually (parthenogenetically), giving rise, in each case, to almost identical adults. These two modes of reproduction are accompanied by differences in morphology of the ovaries and the developmental environment, with sexual forms producing eggs that are laid, whereas asexual de...
Article
Full-text available
The Drosophila Enhancer of split complex [E(spl)-C] is a remarkable complex of genes many of which are effectors or modulators of Notch signaling. The complex contains different classes of genes including four bearded genes and seven basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) genes. We examined the evolution of this unusual complex by identifying bearded and bH...
Article
Eusociality is a rare but successful life history strategy that is defined by the reproductive division of labour. In eusocial species, most females forgo their own reproduction to support that of a dominant female or queen. In many eusocial insects, worker reproduction is inhibited via dominance hierarchies or by pheromones produced by the queen a...
Article
Full-text available
Contemporary analyses of insect population trends are based, for the most part, on a large body of heterogeneous and short‐term datasets of diurnal species that are representative of limited spatial domains. This makes monitoring changes in insect biomass and biodiversity difficult. What is needed is a method for monitoring that provides a consiste...
Article
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Noggin is an extracellular cysteine knot protein that plays a crucial role in vertebrate dorsoventral (DV) patterning. Noggin binds and inhibits the activity of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) via a conserved N-terminal Clip domain. Non-canonical orthologs of Noggin that lack a Clip domain (“Noggin-like” proteins) are encoded in many arthropod g...
Article
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Electromagnetic modelling may be used as a tool for understanding the radar cross section (RCS) of volant animals. Here, we examine this emerging method in detail and delve deeper into the specifics of the modelling process for a single noctuid moth, with the hope of illuminating the importance of different aspects of the process by varying the mor...
Article
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Environmental changes threaten insect pollinators, creating risks for agriculture and ecosystem stability. Despite their importance, we know little about how wild insects respond to environmental pressures. To understand the genomic bases of adaptation in an ecologically important pollinator, we analyzed genomes of Bombus terrestris bumblebees coll...
Article
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How does one genome give rise to multiple, often markedly different, phenotypes in response to an environmental cue? This phenomenon, known as phenotypic plasticity, is common amongst plants and animals, but arguably the most striking examples are seen in insects. Well-known insect examples include seasonal morphs of butterfly wing patterns, sexual...
Article
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Background Conserved syntenic gene complexes are rare in Arthropods and likely only retained due to functional constraint. Numerous sHSPs have been identified in the genomes of insects, some of which are located clustered in close proximity. Previous phylogenetic analyses of these clustered sHSP have been limited to a small number of holometabolous...
Article
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Background Solitary bees, such as the red mason bee ( Osmia bicornis ), provide important ecosystem services including pollination. In the face of global declines of pollinator abundance, such haplodiploid Hymenopterans have a compounded extinction risk due to the potential for limited genetic diversity. In order to assess the genetic diversity of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Behavioral experiments and analyses of observation records have shown that environmental changes threaten insect pollinators, creating risks for agriculture and ecosystem stability. Despite their importance, we know little about how wild insects or other animals can adapt in response to environmental pressures. To understand the genomic bases of ad...
Preprint
Full-text available
Eusocial insect societies are defined by the reproductive division of labour, a social structure that is generally enforced by the reproductive dominant or ‘queen’. Reproductive dominance is maintained through behavioural dominance in some species as well as production of queen pheromones in others, or a mixture of both. Queen mandibular pheromone...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Conserved syntenic gene complexes are rare in Arthropods and likely only retained due to functional constraint. Numerous sHSPs have been identified in the genomes of insects, some of which are located clustered in close proximity. Previous phylogenetic analyses of these clustered sHSP have been limited to a small number of holometabolous...
Article
Eusociality is characterised by the reproductive division of labour; a dominant female (queen) or females are responsible for the majority of reproduction, and subordinate females are reproductively constrained. Reproductive constraint can be due to behavioural aggression and/or chemical cues, so-called queen pheromones, produced by the dominant fe...
Article
Social interactions are thought to be a critical driver in the evolution of cognitive ability. Cooperative interactions, such as pair bonding, rather than competitive interactions have been largely implicated in the evolution of increased cognition. This is despite competition traditionally being a very strong driver of trait evolution. Males of ma...
Article
Full-text available
Social wasps of the genus Vespula have spread to nearly all landmasses worldwide and have become significant pests in their introduced ranges, affecting economies and biodiversity. Comprehensive genome assemblies and annotations for these species are required to develop the next generation of control strategies and monitor existing chemical control...
Article
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The psbA gene family in cyanobacteria encodes different forms of the D1 protein that is part of the Photosystem II reaction centre. We have identified a phylogenetically distinct D1 group that is intermediate between previously identified G3-D1 and G4-D1 proteins (Cardona et al. Mol Biol Evol 32:1310–1328, 2015). This new group contained two subgro...
Article
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The tremendous diversity of Hymenoptera is commonly attributed to the evolution of parasitoidism in the last common ancestor of parasitoid sawflies (Orussidae) and wasp-waisted Hymenoptera (Apocrita). However, Apocrita and Orussidae differ dramatically in their species richness, indicating that the diversification of Apocrita was promoted by additi...
Article
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Phenotypic plasticity, the ability of an organism to alter its phenotype in response to an environmental cue, facilitates rapid adaptation to changing environments. Plastic changes in morphology and behaviour are underpinned by widespread gene expression changes. However, it is unknown if, or how, genomes are structured to ensure these robust respo...
Article
The fundamental trait underlying eusociality is the reproductive division of labour. In honeybees (Apis mellifera), queens lay eggs while workers forage, defend and care for brood. The division of labour is maintained by pheromones including queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) produced by the queen. QMP constrains reproduction in adult honeybee worker...
Article
Full-text available
The authors of the article Ajduk & Duncan 2019 sincerely apologize for specifying the incorrect institutional affiliation for Professor Ali Brivanlou and also the incorrect spelling of Professor Brivanlou's surname in the text of the article.
Article
Queen pheromones effect the reproductive division of labour, a defining feature of eusociality. Reproductive division of labour ensures that one, or a small number of, females are responsible for the majority of reproduction within a colony. Much work on the evolution and function of these pheromones has focussed on Queen Mandibular Pheromone (QMP)...
Article
Full-text available
Background The Hemiptera (aphids, cicadas, and true bugs) are a key insect order, with high diversity for feeding ecology and excellent experimental tractability for molecular genetics. Building upon recent sequencing of hemipteran pests such as phloem-feeding aphids and blood-feeding bed bugs, we present the genome sequence and comparative analyse...
Article
Full-text available
The British Society for Developmental Biology Autumn Meeting, held in Oxford in September 2018, was the third in a series of international workshops which have been focussed on development at the extraembryonic-embryonic interface. This workshop, entitled “Embryonic-Extraembryonic Interactions: from Genetics to Environment” built on the two previou...
Article
Full-text available
The bed bug, Cimex lectularius, has re-established itself as a ubiquitous human ectoparasite throughout much of the world during the past two decades. This global resurgence is likely linked to increased international travel and commerce in addition to widespread insecticide resistance. Analyses of the C. lectularius sequenced genome (650 Mb) and 1...
Article
Embryonic terminal patterning and moulting are critical developmental processes in insects. In Drosophila and Tribolium both of these processes are regulated by the Torso‐activation cassette (TAC). The TAC consists of a common receptor, Torso, ligands Trunk and PTTH, and the spatially restricted protein Torso‐like, with combinations of these elemen...
Article
Full-text available
Background Having conquered water surfaces worldwide, the semi-aquatic bugs occupy ponds, streams, lakes, mangroves, and even open oceans. The diversity of this group has inspired a range of scientific studies from ecology and evolution to developmental genetics and hydrodynamics of fluid locomotion. However, the lack of a representative water stri...
Article
Full-text available
Background The New Zealand collembolan genus Holacanthella contains the largest species of springtails (Collembola) in the world. Using Illumina technology we have sequenced and assembled a draft genome and transcriptome from Holacanthella duospinosa (Salmon). We have used this annotated assembly to investigate the genetic basis of a range of trait...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The Hemiptera (aphids, cicadas, and true bugs) are a key insect order, with high diversity for feeding ecology and excellent experimental tractability for molecular genetics. Building upon recent sequencing of hemipteran pests such as phloem-feeding aphids and blood-feeding bed bugs, we present the genome sequence and comparative analyse...
Article
The sex drive hypothesis predicts that stronger selection on male traits has resulted in masculinization of the genome. Here we test whether such masculinizing effects can be detected at the level of the transcriptome and methylome in the adult zebrafish brain. Although methylation is globally similar, we identified 914 specific differentially met...
Article
Full-text available
L-DOPA is the primary pharmacological treatment for relief of the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. With prolonged treatment (⩾5 years) the majority of patients will develop abnormal involuntary movements as a result of L-DOPA treatment, known as L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of dyskinesia is a crucial step...
Article
Full-text available
The bed bug, Cimex lectularius, has re-established itself as a ubiquitous human ectoparasite throughout much of the world during the past two decades. This global resurgence is likely linked to increased international travel and commerce in addition to widespread insecticide resistance. Analyses of the C. lectularius sequenced genome (650Mb) and 14...
Article
Full-text available
The extent of variation in DNA methylation patterns in healthy individuals is not yet well documented. Identification of inter-individual epigenetic variation is important for understanding phenotypic variation and disease susceptibility. Using neutrophils from a cohort of healthy individuals, we generated base-resolution DNA methylation maps to do...
Article
Full-text available
An in-depth proteomic study of sheep milk whey is reported and compared to the data available in the literature for the cow whey proteome. A combinatorial peptide ligand library kit (ProteoMiner) was used to normalize protein abundance in the sheep whey proteome followed by an in-gel digest of a 1D-PAGE display and an in-solution digestion followed...
Article
Full-text available
The mammary gland is a dynamic organ that undergoes dramatic physiological adaptations during the transition from late pregnancy to lactation. Investigation of the molecular basis of mammary development and function will provide fundamental insights into tissue remodelling as well as a better understanding of milk production and mammary disease. Th...