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Trinity College Dublin

Beeworm: Gene expression in a host parasite interaction

Research Field: 
Resource Type: 
Dedicated human Support
Resource Class: 
Lead PI: 
Dr. Mark Brown
Host-parasite interactions are among the most dynamic interactions in the biological world. This project will utilise both parasitological and molecular techniques to examine the natural host-parasite interaction of the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris Linnaeus (Apidae) and the nematode, Sphaerularia bombi Dufour (Tylenchida), at the gene expression level. S. bombi is unique in that it infects overwintering queens, with one of its main pathological effects being the castration of the host. In addition, the parasite manipulates the immune system and behaviour of the host. Using molecular and transcriptomic techniques, the main aim of this study is to identify genes, both in the host and parasite, that have an altered gene expression during a host-parasite interaction. In addition, reference transcriptomes for the life stages of both the bumblbee and nematode will be generated to provide genetic support for the analysis of the host-parasite interaction. The results of the study will provide a novel insight into the interaction at the genetic level of both the host and parasite, as well as improving our knowledge of the two organisms as a whole.
Start Date: 

Last updated 07 Sep 2010Contact Research IT.