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An analysis of the phylogenetic effects, virulence and bacterial load in host shifts: the bacteria Providencia rettgeri and Enterococcus faecalis infecting flies of the Drosophilidae family

Grant number: 20/15984-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2021
Effective date (End): August 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal researcher:Rodrigo Cogni
Grantee:Eduardo Gomes Ragnoni
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/25991-0 - Ecological genomics of insects: climate adaptations and evolution of ecological interactions, AP.JP


Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs) cause enormous negative effects in humanity and are becoming more frequent. One of the main sources of EIDs are host shift events (when the jump of a pathogen to a new host specie increases the genetic differentiation of the parasite, leading to specialization on the new host). The host phylogeny is relevant to the host shift, influencing virulence and pathogenic load, but we don't know if it occurs only for a specific pathogen or the response to different pathogens is correlated. In this project we will study the phylogenetic effects on host shifts using species from the Drosophilidae family and the bacteria Providencia rettgeri and Enterococcus faecalis. Our goal is to find out how host phylogeny influences bacteria and host fitness, also making a parallel with the already published data of viral infection. We will investigate the virulence and bacterial load variation in 39 species of the Drosophilidae family. The bacterial load will indicate resistance and virulence will be measured by fly mortality rate after the bacterial infection.

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