Genetic renegades: the B chromosomes of D. melanogaster

The Hanlon Lab studies how chromosomes move, form, and evolve. Our model system is the newly discovered B chromosomes in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. B chromosomes are extra, nonessential chromosomes that have been found in hundreds of different plant and animal species and can promote their own segregation, sometimes to the detriment of their host. The Hanlon Lab applies a multitude of cellular, molecular, and genetic tools available in D. melanogaster to understand how B chromosomes rendezvous and segregate during cell division. We also investigate the intrinsic biology of these young B chromosomes, including their effects on life history traits, the frequency of their formation, and the flux of their heterochromatic repeat and transposable element composition over time.

Lab News

  • Welcome, McNair Summer Scholar Paulo Belato!
    Today is Paulo Belato’s first day in the Hanlon Lab!  Paulo is a rising senior and a McNair Summer Scholar who will be examining gene expression changes in the testes of flies that carry B chromosomes.  Lots of genetics and genomics are in Paulo’s future, and we welcome him to the lab!
    Posted on May 10, 2021
  • We’re ready to fly!
    All systems are go and the Hanlon Lab is ready to fly!  Here Kaylah is checking out some of the flies she’ll be using in some crosses she’ll set up soon to examine the genetic basis of meiotic drive of the B chromosomes.  So exciting!
    Posted on April 14, 2021
  • Kaylah decides to ‘B’ in the Hanlon Lab!
    Congratulations to Kaylah, who has officially joined the Hanlon Lab!  Currently her focus is on understanding what domains of Matrimony – an essential regulator of female meiosis – are necessary and sufficient for its suppression of meiotic drive of the B chromosomes.  Welcome, Kaylah!
    Posted on March 19, 2021
  • Ready, set, image!
    Our new DeltaVision Ultra is already producing some gorgeous images!  Graduate student Kaylah Samuelson validated our fluorescent in situ hybridization protocol and established the imaging parameters on the DeltaVision Ultra to produce this gorgeous karyotype from an XX^Y female with B chromosomes.  Magenta = DNA (DAPI stain), yellow = DNA FISH probe that recognizes the […]
    Posted on March 3, 2021
  • Welcome undergrads Maya and Nathan!
    Maya and Nathan will be joining the Hanlon Lab for the Spring 2021 semester.  We hope you enjoy your introduction to research and get to do some cool biology!
    Posted on February 8, 2021

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