1KITE - 1K Insect Transcriptome Evolution

Mission

Insects are one of the most species-rich groups of metazoan organisms. They play a pivotal role in most non-marine ecosystems and many insect species are of enormous economical and medical importance. Unraveling the evolution of insects is essential for understanding how life in terrestrial and limnic environments evolved. The 1KITE (1K Insect Transcriptome Evolution) project aims to study the transcriptomes (that is the entirety of expressed genes) of more than 1,000 insect species encompassing all recognized insect orders. For each species, so-called ESTs (Expressed Sequence Tags) will be produced using next generation sequencing techniques (NGS). Sequencing will be completed by the end of 2013. The expected data will allow inferring for the first time a robust phylogenetic backbone tree of insects. Furthermore, the project includes the development of new software for data quality assessment and analysis.

1KITE has brought together internationally recognized experts in molecular biology, morphology, paleontology, embryology, bioinformatics, and scientific computing in a yet unparalleled way. Overall, scientists from eight nations (Australia, Austria, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and the US) are tightly collaborating in the 1KITE project.

Visit the BGI website: http://en.genomics.cn

1KITE supports the i5k initiative: http://arthropodgenomes.org/wiki/i5K