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Brain EST Library

We have developed a brain expressed sequence tag (EST) resource to identify genes involved in migratory behaviors (Zhu et al., 2008). We constructed brain EST libraries from both summer (non-migrating) and fall (migrating) butterflies.

Of 9,484 unique sequences, 6,068 had positive hits with the non-redundant protein database; the EST database likely represents about 52% of the gene-encoding potential of the monarch genome. The brain transcriptome was cataloged using Gene Ontology and compared to Drosophila. Monarch genes were well represented in all categories, including those implicated in behavior. This EST resource contains individually arrayed cDNA clones that can be used to generate dsRNAs to induce RNAi. The EST library is therefore an essential resource for the development of a high-throughput RNAi screen in DpN1 cells for delineating novel components of the CRY1 signaling pathway and will help define additional monarch CRY2 interactors important for transcriptional repressive activity.