Nashville, TN United States
Areas of Expertise:
Microbiology, Drosophila, Symbiosis
I study Wolbachia, a bacterial reproductive parasite that infects arthropods and nematodes. It is vertically transmitted from mother to offspring and ensures its own transmission by manipulating the reproduction of its host. In particular, I study male killing, a phenotype where male arthropods are selectively killed by certain strains of Wolbachia. In my research, I have identified a bacterial candidate gene that causes a male killing-like phenotype when transgenically expressed in uninfected flies. This informs research on arthropod-microbe symbioses and reproductive parasitism and advances efforts to use Wolbachia as a means of pest or vector control.