The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

1KITE: The evolution of the insects




Insects are one of the most species-rich groups of metazoan organisms. They play a pivotal role in most non-marine ecosystems and many insect species are of enormous economical and medical importance. Unraveling the evolution of insects is essential for understanding how life in terrestrial and limnic environments evolved. The 1KITE (1K Insect Transcriptome Evolution) project aims to study the transcriptomes (that is the entirety of expressed genes) of 1,000 insect species encompassing all recognized insect orders. For each species, so-called ESTs (Expressed Sequence Tags) will be produced using next generation sequencing techniques (NGS). Sequencing will be completed by the end of 2012.The expected data will allow inferring for the first time a robust phylogenetic backbone tree of insects. Furthermore, the project includes the development of new software for data quality assessment and analysis. 1KITE has brought together internationally recognized experts in molecular biology, morphology, paleontology, embryology, bioinformatics, and scientific computing in a yet unparalleled way. Overall, scientists from eight nations (Australia, Austria, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and the US) are tightly collaborating in the 1KITE project.

Speakers of the project are:

  • Bernhard Misof, Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum A. Koenig / Zentrum für Molekulare Biodiversitätsforschung, Bonn, Germany
  • Xin Zhou, BGI-Shenzhen, China
  • Karl Kjer, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, Rutgers University, USA

More details are found on the official project web page:



Contact person

Chair "Systematic Zoology"
+49 228 9122-200
+49 228 9122-202
b.misof [at]

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