Areas of Expertise:
germline transformation, somatic transformation, molecular genetics,
Wolbachia, Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila simulans, Plodia interpunctella, Ephestia kuehniella, Nasonia vitripennis, Varroa destructor
The Shirk lab is currently creating the genetic and microbiological tools necessary to genetically transform obligate intracellular alpha-proteobacteria particularly Wolbachia. This requires modification and application of transgenic systems utilized in transgenesis of insects. We are also collaborating with other labs to achieve somatic and germline transformation of the jewel wasp, Nasonia vitripennis, the varroa mite, Varroa destructor, and the Mediterranean flour moth, Ephestia kuehniella employing piggyBac vectors.