Genetics in parasitic nematodes
Max Planck Institute for Biology
Faculty in: TIPP
- PhD at the University of Bern, 1991-94
- Postdoc and Researcher at the Universities of Colorado, Zürich and Fribourg, 1994-03
- Project leader at the MPI since 2003
The nematode genus Strongyloides consists of parasites that live as parthenogenetic females in the small intestines of their vertebrate hosts. In addition to producing parasitic offspring, the different species of Strongyloides can also form single facultative free-living generations with males and females in between parasitic generations. This complex life cycle gives these worms an ecologically and mechanistically most interesting "choice" between a parasitic life style associated with clonal reproduction and a free-living existence with sexual reproduction. The presence of a free-living generation offers a unique opportunity for the experimental manipulation of a true parasite. We combine molecular and genetic approaches to study and compare various aspects of the reproductive biology of different species of Strongyloides spp.
The human parasite Strongyloides stercoralis is the causing agent of strongyloidasis, one of the neglected tropical diseases. In collaboration with clinical parasitologists we study the taxonomy, host range and zoonotic potential of this parasite.
In international collaborations with various colleagues we also participate in studies of the reproductive and population biology of other parasitic nematodes, for example filarial nematodes of the genus Onchocerca, which contains O. volvulus, the causing agent human onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness.
Available PhD Projects
Currently not recruiting PhD students
- Aupalee, K., Wijit, A., Singphai, K., Roedelsperger, C., Zhou, S., Saeung, A. and Streit, A. (2020). Genomic studies on Strongyloides stercoralis in Northern and Western Thailand. Parasites & Vectors, 13:250. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04115-0.
- Zhou, S., Fu, X., Pei, P., Kucka, M., Liu, J., Tang, L., Zhan, T., He, S., Chan, Y., Rödelsperger, C., Liu, D. and Streit, A. (2019). Characterization of a non-sexual population of Strongyloides stercoralis with hybrid 18S rDNA haplotypes in Guangxi, Southern China. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,13(5): e0007396. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007396.
- Dulovic, A. and Streit, A. (2019). RNAi-mediated knockdown of daf-12 in the model parasitic nematode Strongyloides ratti. PLOS Pathogens, 15(3): e1007705. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1007705. Step by step protocol