"In this application I propose to use a combination of genomic and genetic studies to develop tools for the development of a novel model chelicerate, the two spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae. This proposal merges the previous genomic work of my lab with training in forward and reverse genetics at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen to advance the first model organism in the Chelicerata, the second largest group of animals. This is the first model organism that is going to combine important phylogene tic position of the group with economic importance of the organism as a pest in agriculture. Development of genetic techniques in T. urticae will complement my previous genomic work, allowing integration of cutting edge approaches aimed at rapid analysis of gene function in the spider mite. I will develop novel tools for gene function analysis in chelicerates, including RNAi protocols, stable genetic transformation, and mutant screening and storing protocols. Apart from its fundamental importance, this st udy will have an impact on sustainable agricultural practices and human disease vector control. It will create knowledge and tools with a potential to develop genetic control strategies, selectively targeted at pest chelicerates including mites and ticks. The proposed project represents a multidisciplinary initiative strengthening three research priority areas for the EU including genomics, food safety and health risk and sustainable agriculture. Finally this collaborative initiative will increase scientif ic excellence of EU and expand international Canada-EU collaboration."
Call for proposal
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