About the project

Project number: 24-10943S
Project title: Triatominae and Cimicidae: ecological, evolutionary, and genomic contrasts of open and closed symbioses
Provider: GAČR Czech Science Foundation
Programme: GAČR Standard Project 2024
Project coordinator: JČU v ČB
Researcher:  Mgr. Ondřej Balvín, Ph.D.
Contact person: Michaela Kopřivová Stejskalová
Project schedule: 2024-2026
Budget: 11 572 000 CZK

The project analyses the evolution and ecology of two different types of symbiosis (open/mixed and closed/mixed) in two groups of blood-feeding insects, Triatominae and Cimicidae. On the basis of our previous results, we address in a comparative way the following questions: How are the differences between symbiotic systems reflected in the structure and diversity of microbiomes including viromes. To what extent are microbiomes formed by horizontal mixing and vertical inheritance? Are microbiome differences reflected in horizontal transfer from bacteria to host genomes? Is the type of symbioses reflected in symbiont-host/symbiont- symbiont metabolic complementarity? The project joins two laboratories with complementary experience and access to the models. On the theoretical level, it will provide information on the host-bacteria-virus interaction in hematophagous insects. From a practical perspective, Triatominae are vectors of Tryponosoma cruzi. Cimex lectularius, although not transmitting any disease, can be a significant nuisance and health hazard with an impact on quality of life.

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