Project number: LTAUSA18
Project title: Adaptive evolution and epidemiology of a parasite in the context of change in host behavior: the bed bug resurgence
Programme: InterExcellence (Ministry of Education Youth and Sports)
Project coordinator: Biology centre CAS
Project leader (FES CZU): Mgr. Ondřej Balvín, Ph.D.
Project partners: FES CZU; Texas A&M University
Contact person: Ing. Hana Králíčková
Project schedule: 2019 - 2022
Total project budget: 7 568 000 Kč
The present project deals with the population genetics of the bed bug (Cimex lectularius), a recently re-emerged human pest. It focuses both on evolutionary questions and applied aspects of bed bug control. The sampling design comprises a network of urban areas across Europe and USA. The project is based on the reconstruction of population structure by ddRAD (double digest restriction associated DNA), which is supplemented by analysis of differential expression (mRNA) in selected populations. It follows three major aims. First, the genetic structure based on neutral RAD loci will be compared with haplotype diversity of sodium channel gene associated with insecticide resistance, with other proteins in genetic link with RAD loci showing signs of selective pressure and with loci showing different level of expression activity. This way, the influence of resistance on the recent global bed bug resurgence and spread within and across continents will be determined. Second, links between genetic parameters of populations in particular cities and selected socio-demographic parameters will be searched for. This way, the influence of different patterns of human behavior on the propagation of the bed bug will be determined. Third, the population structure across the network of cities will be interpreted in the context of island biogeography and the significance of e.g. state borders on the bed bug dispersal will be assessed. The research will provide a model for future pest expansions in a modern human society.