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Influence of Wolbachia on the fitness of Culex quinquefasciatus

Grant number: 13/26014-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2014
Effective date (End): July 17, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Entomology and Malacology of Parasites and Vectors
Principal Investigator:Lincoln Suesdek Rocha
Grantee:Stella Noguera Pereira
Host Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Wolbachia pipientis is an obligate intracellular alfa-proteobacteria, endosymbiont in arthropods and nematodes inherited by the mother through the generations. The presence of these bacteria in the germ tissues changes the reproduction of the host, inducing parthenogenesis, males feminization, males killing, cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) and changes of fitness. Some molecular mechanism from these modifications is based on modulations in genic expression of the host, in other words, the bacteria can suppress or stimulate genes in a way to produce a favorable ambience to the maintenance of the endosymbiosis. Due to these potential manipulations, Wolbachia has been tested as a toll to population control of insect vectors of pathogens. The Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito is naturally infected with Wolbachia in the Neotropical region and is an important vector of several pathogens that affect humans. The presence of the bacteria can cause in the mosquitos cytoplasmic incompatibility, changing the time of oogenese, fecundity and fertility. It is also known that the Wolbachia change the expression of the grauzone gene e there are strong indications that this differential expression induces the CI in Culex quinquefasciatus. In Culex pipiens complex has been observed also that the grauzone gene is an important regulator of the cellular cycle of the oogenesis and spermatogenesis. However, those genetics bases of the phenotype "changed fitness" and CI in the Neotropical model Wolbachia-Cx. quinquefasciatus is still unknown. We propose here to test if the expression of the grauzone homologous gene is different in the Cx. quinquefasciatus (PIN lineage) infected and non-infected. We will also test if the knockdown of that gene in infected females promotes changes in the patterns of the fitness and CI.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
LORENZ, CAMILA; ALMEIDA, FABIO; ALMEIDA-LOPES, FERNANDA; LOUISE, CAROLINE; PEREIRA, STELLA N.; PETERSEN, VIVIAN; VIDAL, PALOMA O.; VIRGINIO, FLAVIA; SUESDEK, LINCOLN. Geometric morphometrics in mosquitoes: What has been measured?. INFECTION GENETICS AND EVOLUTION, v. 54, p. 205-215, . (13/26014-8, 13/26017-7, 10/15039-1, 06/02622-5, 14/27172-9, 12/17717-2, 13/05521-9)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
PEREIRA, Stella Noguera. Analysis of the transcriptional factor of meiosis grauzone in Culex quinquefasciatus infected by Wolbachia. 2017. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo (IMT) São Paulo.

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