Congratulations to the winners of the Editors’ Choice Awards for outstanding articles published in GENETICS in 2017! The journal’s Editorial Board considered a diverse range of articles, finding many papers worthy of recognition. After much deliberation, they settled on one exceptional article for each of the three award categories: molecular genetics, quantitative genetics, and population and evolutionary genetics. Check out some of the best GENETICS had to offer in 2017!


Linlin Zhang

Genetic Basis of Melanin Pigmentation in Butterfly Wings

Linlin Zhang, Arnaud Martin, Michael W. Perry, Karin R. L. van der Burg, Yuji Matsuoka,  Antónia Monteiro, and Robert D. Reed

Genetics April 2017, 205: 1537–1550

Editors’ Note

Butterfly wing patterns are a model system for studying the evolution and development of adaptive traits. Zhang et al. combine RNA-seq and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to characterize and functionally assess genes that are involved in butterfly wing pattern development. Focusing their approach on the melanin pigmentation pathway showed that, while some melanin genes have deeply conserved function across insects, some play expanded roles in butterfly wings to tune the coloration of specific pattern elements.

See also: Behind the Cover: CRISPR in Color


Yuelong (John) Guo

Networks Underpinning Symbiosis Revealed Through Cross-Species eQTL Mapping

Yuelong Guo, Sylwia Fudali, Jacinta Gimeno, Peter DiGennaro, Stella Chang, Valerie M. Williamson, David McK. Bird, and Dahlia M. Nielsen

Genetics August  2017, 206: 2175–2184

Editors’ Note

Inter-species interactions are common among plants, animals, and microbes. Existing analysis tools often focus on only one of the species involved in an interaction; to address this issue, Guo et al. developed an approach that concurrently identifies genes in both interacting partners. They apply this methodology to plants infected with a parasitic nematode and construct cross-species gene networks to identify cause-and-effect relationships between genes from both partners.


Philipp Messer

Evolution of Resistance Against CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Drive

Robert L. Unckless, Andrew G. Clark, and Philipp W. Messer

Genetics February 2017, 205: 827–841

Editors’ Note

CRISPR/Cas9 gene drive (CGD) can spread a genetically modified allele to fixation within a species and is a promising tool for pest control. Unckless, Clark, and Messer examine the likelihood that resistance to gene drive will evolve prior to driver fixation, thus potentially limiting the ability of the driver to transform whole populations. Their results shed light on strategies for engineering drivers with lower potential for resistance and the possibility of using resistance as a mechanism for controlling CGD.

See also: Behind the Cover: Attack of the 50 Foot Mosquito