Sex and Immunity - Specific Projects

• Influence of immune defense responses on sexual communication
  in a generalist (Heliothis virescens) and specialist (Heliothis subflexa)
  moth species

PhD project Andrea Barthel

Generalist herbivores are exposed to a much larger variety of pathogens and other stress factors (e.g. plant defensive compounds) than specialist herbivores. Therefore, generalist herbivores are likely to have a much stronger and/or more diverse immune defense system than specialist herbivores. more >>>

Collaborators: Dalial Freitak, Dieter Spiteller

• Identification of the bacterial community in the midgut of the two
  Fall Armyworm strains

Because gut microbiota play an important role on shaping host physiology, we aim to determine whether the gut microflora of the two host strains of the Fall Armyworm (FAW, Spodoptera frugiperda) are identical. The underlying question is: Can the different microbial composition account for the hormonal and/or behavioral differences of the two host strains? The bacterial community will be surveyed using PCR-based techniques. A combination of conventional colony sequencing and next generation sequencing will be applied.

Principal investigator: Dr. Liyang Ping, Dept. Bioorganic Chemistry, MPICE

Collaborator: Astrid T. Groot