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Biochemistry Seminar: Dr Seth Barribeau

Insect immune memory, how does it work and why should we care?

Insects lack the adaptive immune responses of vertebrates, but, despite this handicap, still mount stronger immune responses to familiar pathogens. The existence of this form of immune memory, often called priming, is found in diverse invertebrates, but the mechanisms appear to differ among taxa. Priming memory can also travel from parents to offspring, protecting the offspring from pathogens encountered by their parents.

Here I discuss the transcriptomic signatures of immune memory in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, and present some preliminary data that explores immune memory in honeybees and mosquitos to bacteria and viruses. Bombus terrestris queens can transfer immune memory of a Gram-positive bacterial challenge to her daughters. We find that this is associated with elevated constitutive expression of key effectors, the antimicrobial peptides, and further elevation of additional genes upon daughter exposure. When a daughter is exposed to a disparate Gram-negative challenge, she redirects her immune response to compensate, but is unable to fully restore the normal immune response.

Date Tuesday, 13 July 2021
Time 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Audience Undergraduate students,Postgraduate students,Staff,Alumni,Allied health professionals
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Academic
LocationBiochemistry Seminar Room G.13 (BIG13), Biochemistry Building, 710 Cumberland St, Dunedin.
Contact NameDepartment of Biochemistry

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