K-State Division of Biology

Rob Denell

University Distinguished Professor
Director, Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research

Ph.D. 1969, University of Texas-Austin. Developmental Genetics.

Genetic, developmental and molecular studies of insects.


36D Chalmers Hall
(785) 532-6705

KSU Tribolium Genetics Program Web
Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology Web

Description of Research

As part of a local collaboration, we have been working to establish the red flour beetle as an important invertebrate model system for genetic and molecular studies.  My research program focuses on using this beetle for comparative studies of the genetic control of developmental processes, in part to better understand how genetic changes led to morphological evolution.  Current emphasis is on the genetic regulation of antennal development.

Selected Research Publications

Shippy, T.S., M. Ronshaugen, J. Cande, J. He, R.W. Beeman, M. Levine, S.J. Brown, and R.E. Denell. 2008. Analysis of the Tribolium homeotic complex: insights into mechanisms constraining insect Hox clustersDevelopment, Genes & Evolution 218: 127-139.

Shippy, T.S., Y. Tomoyasu, W. Nie, S.J. Brown, and R.E. Denell. 2008. Do teashirt family genes specify trunk identity?: Insights from the single tiptop/teashirt homolog of Tribolium castaneum. Development, Genes & Evolution 218: 141-152.

Tribolium Genome Sequencing Consortium. 2008.  The genome of the developmental model beetle and pest Tribolium castaneumNature 452: 949-955.

Lorenzen, M.D., T. Kimzey, T.D. Shippy, S.J. Brown, R.E. Denell, and R.W. Beeman.  2007.  piggyBac-based insertional mutagenesis in Tribolium castaneum using donor/helper hybrids. Insect Molecular Biology 16:265-75.

Shippy T.D., C.D. Rogers, R.W. Beeman, S. J. Brown, and R.E. Denell.  2006.  The Tribolium castaneum Ortholog of Sex combs reduced Controls Dorsal Ridge Development. Genetics 174: 297-307.

Tomoyasu, Y., S.R. Wheeler, and R.E. Denell.  2005.  Ultrabithorax is required for membraneous wing identity  in the beetle Tribolium castaneumNature 433: 643-647.

Tomoyasu, Y. and R.E. Denell.  2004.  Larval RNAi in Tribolium (Coleoptera) for analyzing adult developmentDev. Genes Evol. 214: 575-578.

Lorenzen M.D., A.J. Berghammer, S.J. Brown, R.E. Denell, M. Klingler, and R.W. Beeman.  2003.  piggyBac-mediated germline transformation in the beetle Tribolium castaneumInsect Mol Biol. 5: 433-40.

Brown, S.J., R.E. Denell, and R.W. Beeman.  2003.  Beetling around the genomeGenetical Research 82: 155-161.

Brown S.J, J.P. Fellers, T.D. Shippy, E.A. Richardson, M. Maxwell, J.J. Stuart, and R. E. Denell.  2002.  Sequence of the Tribolium castaneum homeotic complex: the region corresponding to the Drosophila melanogaster Antennapedia complex. Genetics 160:1067-1074.

Brown, S.J., T.D. Shippy, R.W. Beeman, and R.E. Denell.  2002.  Tribolium Hox genes repress antennal development in the gnathos and trunk.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 24: 384-387.

Brown, S.J., T.D. Shippy, R.E. Denell, and R.W. Beeman.  2002.  Homeotic genes in Tribolium (Coleoptera), in The Encyclopedia of Entomology (Herb Oberlander, ed.), in press.

DeCamillis M.A., D.L. Lewis, S.J. Brown, R.W. Beeman, and R.E. Denell.  2002.  Interactions of the Tribolium Sex combs reduced and proboscipedia orthologs in embryonic labial development. Genetics 159:1643-1648.

Lorenzen M.D., S.J. Brown, R.E. Denell, and R.W. Beeman.  2002.  Transgene expression from the Tribolium castaneum Polyubiquitin promoter. Insect Mol Biol. 11:399-407.

Lorenzen M.D., S.J. Brown, R.E. Denell, and R.W. Beeman.  2002.  Cloning and characterization of the Tribolium castaneum eye-color genes encoding tryptophan oxygenase and kynurenine 3-monooxygenase. Genetics 160:225-234.

Complete List of Research Publications -(PDF)


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