From microscopes to dual-RNA sequencing in the host-parasite system of avian malaria

Le 24 Juin 2016
11h30 Salle Louis Thaler, ISEM (UM, Bât. 22, 2ème étage)

Olof Hellgren

Lund University, Suède

(Talk in English)


Avian malaria is a highly diverse host-parasite system including thousands of hosts and parasites distributed across the globe and have served as a model system for some of the most important discoveries in malaria research, ranging from the discovery of malaria vectors in 1908 to the development of vaccines in 1977. With the introduction of molecular screening-methods in the beginning of this century, avian malaria has been brought back to life as a model-system in the fields of ecology and evolution of host-parasite interaction. Over the last decade and a half the molecular data have been pouring in and changed our view of species limits, host-specificity, transmission areas and variation in virulence within the system. As the system allows for infection experiments we now have the opportunity to study the interactions between the hosts and the parasites under controlled settings, where dual-RNA sequencing makes it possible to identify and monitor the genetic responses simultaneously within the hosts and the parasites throughout single infection episodes.

Recent publications:

  • Videvall E…. and Hellgren O (2015) The Avian Transcriptome Response to Malaria Infection. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 32 1255-1267.
  • Hellgren et al. (2015) Global phylogeography of the avian malaria pathogen Plasmodium relictum based on MSP1 allelic diversity. Ecography 38: 842–850.





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