Sydney NSW, Australia
For your information
Horizontal gene transfer: How fungi improve their ability to infect insects


by Eva Sittig, Kiel University

Researchers at the Kiel Evolution Center have investigated for the first time in detail how a fungus important for biological plant protection can pass on an advantageous chromosome horizontally, using a previously little-studied way of exchanging genetic information.

Sustainable plant protection measures that are not based on chemical pesticides rely on various organisms and biological agents to protect crops from pests. Such organisms used for biological plant protection are, for example, microscopic fungi of the genus Metarhizium, which can attack and kill a variety of plant-pathogenic insects and are used, for example, in South American sugar cane cultivation.

The molecular mechanisms of fungal infection and the immune response of insects are in an ongoing process of mutual evolutionary adaptation. In a joint project with colleagues from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA), a research team from Kiel University investigated the genetic changes in the fungus during infection of the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile).

Read on:


No responses yet...