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Department of Entomology

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Siebert, Kendra

Siebert, Kendra M.S. 2006 Phone: (785) 776-2716 ksscowgirl2002@yahoo.comDegree Being Pursued: M.S.

Bio Brief

"Transposable element-mediated mutagenesis systems in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst): development and analysis of additional donors and helpers"


B.S. Animal Science, Kansas State University, 2000


Project Title: Improve transgenic technologies for the identification and characterization of pest control targets in Tribolium castaneum.

  • Approach: Develop additional transposase-encoding helper lines to improve the efficiency of piggyBac-based transgenic systems in Tribolium. A Tribolium alpha tubulin promoter is being used to drive expression of piggyBac transposase to increase the rate of single-insertion events, while another approach is to utilize the highly active Tribolium polyubiquitin promoter to increase the rate of multiple insertions.
  • Outcomes: A Tribolium castaneum alpha tubulin gene has been cloned and sequenced, along with its promoter. This promoter was tested via a transient assay in Tribolium embryos and shown to be functional. Both the aforementioned promoter and the Tribolium polyubiquitin promoter have been cloned into Minos-based transformation constructs, just upstream of the piggyBac transposase gene, and are currently being injected into Tribolium embryos to establish helper lines.

    Impacts: Tribolium castaneum is a sophisticated genetic model species whose genome has just been sequenced. Functional analysis of the genomic sequence will require the use of transformation-based genetic tools such as insertional mutagenesis, promoter analysis and enhancer trapping. Since Tribolium is the first coleopteran to be sequenced we expect to discover numerous coleopteran-specific biocontrol targets that will undoubtedly led to improved methods of pest control.


  • Siebert, K.S., Lorenzen, M.D., Park, Y., Brown, S.J. and Beeman, R.W. Insertional mutagenesis systems in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. 46th Annual Drosophila Research Conference. March 30- April 10, 2005, San Diego, CA.
  • Siebert, K.S., Lorenzen, M.D., Park, Y., Brown, S.J. and Beeman, R.W. Analysis of an alpha tubulin promoter from Tribolium castaneum and its use in germline transformation. 2004 ESA Annual Meeting and Exhibition. November 14-17, 2004, Salt Lake City, Utah. President’s Prize Winner.
  • Siebert, K.S., Lorenzen, M.D., Park, Y., Brown, S.J. and Beeman, R.W. Promoters to improve the efficiency of artificial hybrid dysgenesis in Tribolium castaneum. The 59th Annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, North Central Branch. March 28-31, 2004, Kansas City, Missouri.

Siebert, K., M. D. Lorenzen, S. J. Brown, Y. Park, and R. W. Beeman (2008) Tubulin superfamily genes in Tribolium castaneum, and use of a Tubulin promoter to drive transgene expression. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 38: 749-755.