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Current Research (PhD Thesis):

The insect gut is a harsh niche for the microbial biota living there. Not only does the high pH of some species (e.g. Lepidoptera) cause the cleavage of quorum sensing molecules of certain bacteria to destroy their ally, but also the insect gut epithelium constantly secrets antimicrobial peptides. On the other hand, some microbial products are known to induce the defense responses of the attacked plant therefore spoil the food. However, confrontation is definitely not the entire story, some microbe and their hosts also benefit each other by mutualism. In this project, the complex interaction between the insect, plant, and microorganisms will be studied at genetic and molecular level. The bacterial community living in different sections of the digestion tract, as well as their correlation with host age, food resource, will be profiled using metagenomics and taxonomical microarray. Some representative strains will be eventually selected to further uncover the mechanism underlying the tritrophic interaction.
last updated on 2013-11-19