Journal article

A blow to the fly - Lucilia cuprina draft genome and transcriptome to support advances in biology and biotechnology

Clare A Anstead, Philip Batterham, Pasi K Korhonen, Neil D Young, Ross S Hall, Vernon M Bowles, Stephen Richards, Maxwell J Scott, Robin B Gasser



The blow fly, Lucilia cuprina (Wiedemann, 1830) is a parasitic insect of major global economic importance. Maggots of this fly parasitize the skin of animal hosts, feed on excretions and tissues, and cause severe disease (flystrike or myiasis). Although there has been considerable research on L. cuprina over the years, little is understood about the molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics of this parasitic fly, as well as its relationship with its hosts and the disease that it causes. This situation might change with the recent report of the draft genome and transcriptome of this blow fly, which has given new and global insights into its biology, interactions with the host animal and as..

View full abstract


Awarded by National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

Awarded by Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLSCI)


Funding Acknowledgements

Funding from Australian Wool Innovation (AWI; P.B. and R.B.G.) and the Australian Research Council (ARC; to R.B.G.) are gratefully acknowledged. The authors thank the staff at the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center for the original sequencing and assembly of the L. cuprina genome, funded by a grant U54 HG003273 from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI; to S.R). Support to R.B.G.'s laboratory from YourGene Bioscience and Melbourne Water Corporation as well as the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLSCI; grant no. VR0007) on its Peak Computing Facility at the University of Melbourne is gratefully acknowledged. Support to M.J.S.'s laboratory from the Agriculture Research Service (United States Department of Agriculture), the Panama-United States Commission for the Eradication and Prevention of Screwworm, and the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grant Program (National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture) is acknowledged. C.A.A. holds an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship. N.D.Y. holds an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship. RICK is the recipient of a scholarship (STRAPA) from the University of Melbourne. Thanks to Dr Joshua Benoit and two anonymous reviewers for their suggestions.