About Dr. Lynch's Research
I am generally interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the emergence of pattern and form during animal development, and in particular how these mechanisms change in the course of evolution. My work focuses on these processes in insects, from embryos to adults.
The insects are an ideal model clade with which to approach these questions, due to their species richness, developmental diversity, and the ability to test gene function in a number of species representing a broad phylogenetic range.
Currently, three major topics are being pursued in the lab: 1) The evolution of mechanisms for establishing and patterning the dorsal-ventral (DV) axis of insect embryos, 2) The evolution of germline establishment and function in insects, primarily focusing on holometabolous insects, and 3) the evolution of adult form using closely related species. In all three cases the wasp Nasonia vitripennis is the main model employed to gain insights into the evolution of the respective processes. This species has the advantages that it is easily kept in the lab, has a fully sequenced genome, and is amenable to both parental RNAi and germline transformation to test gene function. I also use the powerful beetle model Tribolium castaneum and am developing an additional model, the bean beetle Callosobruchus.
A long term goal of the lab is to more fully integrate the evolutionary developmental results with an understanding of the ecological and phylogenetic conditions under which these features arose.
Lynch JA, Ozuak O, Khila A, Abouheif E, Desplan C, Roth S. The Phylogenetic Origin of oskar Coincided with the Origin of Maternally Provisioned Germ Plasm and Pole Cells at the Base of the Holometabola. PLoS Genetics. 2011 7(4): e1002029. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002029.
Lynch JA, Roth S. The Evolution of Dorsal-ventral Patterning Mechanisms in Insects. Genes & Development. 2011 25: 107-118. doi:10.1101/gad.2010711.
Lynch JA, Desplan C. Novel modes of localization and function of nanos in the wasp Nasonia. Development. 2010 Oct 7. [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1242/dev.054213.
Lynch JA , Peel AD, Drechsler A, Averof M, Roth S. EGF Signaling and the Origin of Axial Polarity among the Insects. Current Biology. 2010 Jun 8;20(11):1042-7. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2010.04.023.
Nasonia Genome Working Group, Werren JH, Richards S, Desjardins CA, Niehuis O, Gadau J, Colbourne JK, Beukeboom LW, Desplan C, Elsik CG, Grimmelikhuijzen CJ, Kitts P, Lynch JA, et al., Functional and evolutionary insights from the genomes of three parasitoid Nasonia species. Science. 2010 Jan 15;327(5963):343-8.
Roth S, Lynch JA. Symmetry breaking during Drosophila oogenesis. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology. 2009 Aug;1(2): a001891.
Lynch JA and Desplan, C. A method for parental RNA interference in the wasp Nasonia vitripennis. Nature Protocols 1, 486 - 494 (2006). doi:10.1038/nprot.2006.70.
Lynch JA, Brent AE, Leaf DS, Pultz MA, Desplan C. Localized maternal orthodenticle patterns anterior and posterior in the long germ wasp Nasonia. Nature. 2006 Feb 9;439(7077):728-32. doi:10.1038/nature04445.