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Modulation of gene regulation in Aedes aegypti upon infection by Wolbachia


Project Description

The mosquito Aedes aegypti is the primary vector of arboviruses that pose a growing threat to global human health. Wolbachia are common endosymbionts of arthropods that can manipulate host reproduction through patterns of sterility known as cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), which can result in invasion of insect populations. Some Wolbachia strains also block replication of arboviruses when introduced into Ae. aegypti; in combination with Wolbachia invasiveness, this offers a promising novel approach to controlling mosquito-borne viral diseases such as dengue. In addition, CI has been exploited in field releases of Wolbachia-infected males to nearly eliminate wild Aedes populations.

Wolbachia is known to exhibit strong tropism to the gonads. This project will explore molecular responses in the Ae. aegypti ovary to Wolbachia, including changes in expression of mosquito genes and the regulatory mechanisms involved in differential gene expression. The student will implement a broad range of approaches, including next generation sequencing analysis and other bioinformatics tools, various molecular biology techniques, and mosquito transgenesis.

The student will be registered with the University of Glasgow and will spend broadly equivalent amount of time at the Pirbright Institute and the University of Glasgow to undertake training and complete specific project tasks as required.

TO APPLY: Full details of how to apply can be found on our website - click Visit Website.
For enquiries regarding the application process please email Admissions Enquiries - click Email Now.
For informal enquiries regarding this project please email the project supervisors noted above.

Funding Notes

This is a fully funded studentship open to science graduates with, or who anticipate obtaining, at least 2.1 or equivalent in relevant biological subject in undergraduate degree, or a Masters degree - subject to university regulations. Open to UK students and eligible EU students who qualify for home-rated fees - see Residential Eligibility Guidelines on website for details. Eligible students will receive minimum annual stipend of £15,009 plus cost of living top-up of £2,200; university registration fees will be paid. Students without English as first language must provide evidence of IELTS score of 7.0, no less than 6.5 in subsections.

References

Nazni et al. (2019), Current Biology, December 16th issue.
Geoghegan et al. (2017) Nature Communications, 8: 526.

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