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.

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Lab News

  • Welcome to the ‘B’ team, Shell!
    Shell Chen, Class of 2023, has decided to join the ‘B’ team!  Her project will be examining the molecular interactions of the B chromosomes and their progenitor chromosome, Chromosome 4.  We hope you’re glad to ‘B’ here!
    Posted on March 10, 2022
  • Another Busy ‘B’: Michelle has decided to join the lab!
    The Hanlon Lab is the official new home of Mengjia Michelle Lin, currently a first-year Ph.D. student in the MCB Graduate Program.  Her work will focus on the dynamics of B chromosomes during female meiosis.  Welcome, Michelle!
    Posted on January 21, 2022