Chemosensory adaptation to specialized lifestyles - a comparative omics approach

The rapid warming of the Earth caused by anthropogenic factors has profound long-term implications for preventing pests and controlling vector-borne diseases. Arthropods, ectotherms animals, do better in a warmer world. One of the advantages of a more hospitable environment is spreading geographically to establish new niches. However, appropriate communication within and between individuals is crucial for successful niche realization, and one of the most ancient ways of communication occurs via chemicals and chemoreception. This project aims to examine chemosensory adaptations to specialized lifestyles in two arthropods: Ixodes ricinus, a tick species that is a vector for multiple borne diseases in Europe, and the striped ambrosia beetle Trypodendron lineatum, an economically important pest to the forest industry. The project will use computational approaches, molecular cloning, functional characterization, in vivo electrophysiology, and behavioral studies to provide insights into the chemosensory receptor gene repertory in ticks and beetles.

Doctoral researcher: Zaide Montes Ortiz

Supervision: Dr. Christer Löfstedt (LU), Dr. Dan-Dan Zhang (LU), Dr. Martin N. Andersson (LU), and Dr. Rickard Ignell (SLU)

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