B.S. -- University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
How insects successfully colonize their plant hosts with effectors fascinates me. The physiological changes induced by effectors to suppress immunity and alter nutrient mobilization is what I am currently studying in woolly apple aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum) and its host, apple (Malus domestica).
Using a transcriptomic and proteomic approach, I am currently working towards identifying and characterizing effectors produced in woolly apple aphid salivary glands. Exploring the effectors' functions and molecular targets in their plant hosts may help us understand which molecules and pathways are important in the formation of these plant-insect interactions, and the resulting co-evolutionary arms race.