create a website for free
Mobirise

ENT - 591/791
Insect-microbiome interactions

Instructor: Aram Mikaelyan
Credits: 3
Course Offerings: Fall semester (Tue/Thu; 09:30 - 11:00) 
NEXT OFFERING: Fall 2020  
Requirements: Graduate standing -or- Consent of instructor
Venue: 1405, Gardner Hall

Description: Insects are characterized by a diversity and complexity of host-microbe interactions that make them a marvel to behold. As they diversified over the last 400 million years, insects have forged unique relationships with the microbial world. Ranging from the pathogenic to the mutualistic, from intracellular symbionts to gut microbiomes, from digestion to sex determination, host-microbe interactions have fundamentally shaped the insect evolution. In this course, we will explore this fascinating and unique landscape of insect-microbe interactions, covering topics including insect immunity, entomopathogens, intracellular symbionts, and gut microbiomes.

The course will include lectures, discussions, analyses and in-class games. Because of the interactive nature of the class, attendance is critical and will be recorded.

Please enroll under the right course number!
491 - Upper-level undergraduate students 
591 - MS graduate students
791
- PhD graduate students

Syllabus

This syllabus is divided into topics, not lectures - some may be covered in more than one lecture, some combined into a single lecture, others may be assigned reading. More information can be found in the full syllabus. 

Intracellular symbiosis


Bugs inside of bugs (inside of bugs?): Can any bacterium become an endosymbiont?

Altered Nitrogen: nutritional symbioses driven by the search for fixed N.

Triumph of daughters: reproductive symbioses and skewed sex ratios

An enemy of an enemy: defensive symbioses 

External microbial partners

Eaters of the dead: extraoral digestion of carrion and wood

Civilization 1.0: Fungiculture in social insects 

Cospeciation, Coevolution and beyond

Parallel evolution: when is it coevolution?

Tangled trees: When is it cospeciation? 

The holobiont and the hologenome

No insect is an island: What is not part of the holobiont?

Speciation by symbiosis: can the microbiome influence speciation? 

Roles in host biology


Symbiotic digestion: outsourcing nutrition to the microbiome

Defective development: What does a germ-free fly have to lose?

Under the influence: insect behavior and the microbiome 

Factors influencing assembly of microbial communities

1-microliter ecosystems: community ecology in insect microbiomes

Phylosymbiosis: Patterns of parallel evolution in gut microbiomes 

Recognition of self and nonself

Standing up to pathogens without a backbone: the innate immune system of invertebrates

Physical barriers: the cuticle, peritrophic membrane, and the gut microbiome

Know your enemy: pathogen associated microbial peptides 

Effector mechanisms

Combat cascades: signal transduction following pathogen recognition

Killer cells: cell-mediated immunity

Projectiles: AMPs, ROS and humoral immunity 

Controversial side-topics

Adaptations to cramped living: social immunity

Telling foes apart: specific immunity in insects 

Disease ecology

The dark side: What makes any pathogen successful and a host susceptible?

Her Red Majesty: coevolution between host and pathogen 

Pathogenesis

Creating white walkers: the role of fungal spores in dispersal, transmission and infection

Way to the insect’s heart: bacterial pathogens


Strength in genetic diversity: viral pathogens  

IT'S EASY AND SIMPLE

Cut down the development time with drag-and-drop website builder. Drop the blocks into the page, edit content inline and publish - no technical skills required.

IT'S EASY AND SIMPLE

Cut down the development time with drag-and-drop website builder. Drop the blocks into the page, edit content inline and publish - no technical skills required.

IT'S EASY AND SIMPLE

Cut down the development time with drag-and-drop website builder. Drop the blocks into the page, edit content inline and publish - no technical skills required.

TRENDY WEBSITE BLOCKS

Choose from the large selection pre-made blocks - full-screen intro, bootstrap carousel, slider, responsive image gallery with, parallax scrolling, sticky header and more.

TRENDY WEBSITE BLOCKS

Choose from the large selection pre-made blocks - full-screen intro, bootstrap carousel, slider, responsive image gallery with, parallax scrolling, sticky header and more.

TRENDY WEBSITE BLOCKS

Choose from the large selection pre-made blocks - full-screen intro, bootstrap carousel, slider, responsive image gallery with, parallax scrolling, sticky header and more.

Course components and grading

The course will be composed of take-home quizzes (35%), lab assignments (15%, team activities that will introduce you to basic phylogenetic, genomic and microbiome analysis), a science communication project (15%, which will involve the creation of a comic, a podcast or a citizen science project proposal), and two exams (35%). More information can be found in the full syllabus

Address

Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
3312 Gardner Hall, 100 Pilsbury Circle
North Carolina State University

Contacts

Email: amikael@ncsu.edu