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A1 Functional characterization of REL2 pathway in responses to bacteria, microsporidia and malaria parasites in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae (Levashina)

Research Group: Vector Biology Unit, Max-Planck Institute for Infection Biology
Address: Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin
Supervisor: Dr. Elena A. Levashina
Doctoral Researcher: Suzana Zakovic

Project Description

The aim of this project is to dissect the role of Imd/REL2 pathway in the mosquito anti-parasite responses. Although some components have been identified in the A. gambiae genome, the pathway remains largely understudied. We propose to characterize the role of REL2 in mosquito responses to bacteria, malaria and to non-pathogenic microsporidia using RNAi silencing of selected pathway components and by developing a series of transgenic mosquito lines with mutated components using CRISPR-Cas9 technology. We expect to identify REL2 signalling nodes that determine pathway specificity to diverse pathogens, and thereby reveal molecular mechanisms of the mosquito defence strategies. Understanding how mosquitoes sense pathogens and mount appropriate defence reactions will advance our understanding of the immune signalling pathways in insects and may suggest new approaches to combat malaria.

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