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The University of Southampton
Institute for Life Sciences

Research project: Identification of novel crustacean pathogen receptor proteins

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This interdisciplinary project, funded by the School of Medicine NOCS Interface fund, combines expertise in mammalian immune receptors, in silico gene discovery, and molecular biology in crustaceans. The aim is to identify novel pathogen receptor proteins in crustacean species, with a specific focus on the the protostome shore crab Carcinus maenas, which is a model for commercially-important decapod crustaceans.

This project combines computational, molecular and whole organism biology.

 This project combines specialist in silico techniques for novel gene discovery and molecular biological methods to identify, isolate and sequence novel pathogen receptor proteins (PRPs) within the genome and transcriptome of several crustacean species, with a specific focus on the protostome shore crab Carcinus maenas, a model for commercially-important decapod crustaceans. This project is part of a larger collaboration between the Schools of Medicine, Ocean & Earth Science and Biological Sciences to study the differential expression of receptors in C. maenas following sub-lethal pathogen challenge.

To investigate proposed theories of specificity and memory within the invertebrate immune response, it is absolutely essential that underlying mechanisms can be identified in a range of invertebrate taxa, including a diverse array of protostome species. This project is using bioinformatics and molecular evolution techniques (homology searching, sequence alignment, phylogenetics etc.), implemented in a custom bioinformatic pipeline, FIESTA, to identify potential novel receptors from a variety of putative immune receptor families.


This work was supported by a £5k award from the School of Medicine SoM-NOCS Interface fund. (Dec 2008 - Dec 2010)

Related research groups

Molecular and Cellular Biosciences

Key Publications

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