Abstracts (first author)


Transgenerational immune priming in Lepidoptera

Author(s): Vilcinskas A, Freitak D, Schmidtberg H, Vogel H


Parental investment in offspring encompasses its preparation to defend themselves against pathogens or parasites initially encountered by the adults. In order to explore the mechanisms mediating trans-generational immune priming in insects we used the established lepidopteran model host Galleria mellonella. Here we show that feeding of G. mellonella larvae with either non-pathogenic bacteria or with bacterial pathogens such as Pseudomonas entomophila and Serratia entomophila is sufficient to increase expression of immunity-related genes such as the antibacterial protein gloverin. Dietary uptake of bacteria by the larvae resulted also in differential expression of immunity-related genes in the eggs laid by the corresponding female adults, providing evidence for trans-generational immune priming of the offspring. In subsequent studies we explored the mechanism mediating transgenerational immune priming in Lepidoptera.


Seasonal phenotype specific gene expression during metamorphosis of the European Map Butterfly Araschnia levana

Author(s): Vilcinskas A, Vogel H


The European Map Butterfly Araschnia levana represents the classic textbook example for seasonal polyphenism. This phenomenon occurs in species that respond to seasonally changing environmental parameters by formation of distinct phenotypes. A. levana occurs in two strikingly distinct seasonal phenotypes, the spring generation flying from April to June is reddish with black spots on the dorsal surface whereas that of the summer generation flying from July to August is dark-brown and labeled with a white band. Given that exposure of A. levana caterpillars to different light regimes decides whether metamorphosis results in pupae which are prepared for diapause and overwintering or not, we screened the transcriptomes of last instar larvae kept either under short or long day conditions for differentially expressed genes. Our results elucidate how environmental stimuli induce transcriptomic shifts which ultimately result in development of distinct phenotypes.


Chairman: Octávio S. Paulo
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XIV Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Organization Team
Department of Animal Biology (DBA)
Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon
P-1749-016 Lisbon


Computational Biology & Population Genomics Group