Congratulations to Mike Kanost (Kansas State University) and Gary Blissard (Cornell University) who spearheaded our large, international, collaborative project on decyphering the DNA of the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta)! Manduca is not only an important pest insect of Solanaceae plants (tomatoes, tobacco etc), evolved a number of cool adaptations (e.g. it can happily munch on nicotine-filled leaves) but it is also a major model system for neuroscience and detoxification.
The result of more than four years of work, the genome has been freely available and the paper is available from our society’s favourite journal, Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. That it got accepted on Alexie’s birthday is just extra awesome.