Collaborators1KITE is a collaborative project, aiming to generate 1000 insect transcriptomes within the next year. We have brought together internationally recognized experts in molecular biology, morphology, paleontology, embryology, bioinformatics, and scientific computing in a yet unparalleled way. There are three distinct levels to the project. First, we will be presenting a phylogeny of Insecta from 100 broadly representative taxa, including all extant orders, and enigmatic taxa such as Tricholepidion, Timema, Cryptocercus, Zorotypus, Nannochorista, and Boreus. First tests on the transcriptome data of 70 taxa showed that for each species we will identify roughly 1400 1:1 orthologous genes comprising more than 2 million basepairs. A preliminary phylogenetic analysis, presented here, shows that we infer fully supported trees that will help to clarify many open questions in insect phylogenetics.
Subprojects" As our first paper is written, we will break into 10 separate subprojects, including basal hexapods, Odonata, Polyneoptera, Dictyoptera, Paraneoptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Trichoptera, Neuropterida, and Antilophora. The 40-150 taxa required for each subproject will be collected before the end of 2012. As these papers are completed, we will pool all of the data into a 1000 insect transcriptome dataset to generate a robust phylogeny of Hexapoda. Transcriptomes from over 500 taxa have already been sequenced. These annotated transcriptomes should be useful for the assembly and annotation of insect genomes for the i5K project, with which we are actively cooperating. Furthermore, we will address how morphology, embryology, and molecules can be reciprocally informative. We will be estimating divergence rates and dates, as well as developing new software for data quality assessment and analysis. The 1KITE insect phylogenetics initiative." Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting 2012