Insects owe much of their evolutionary success to microbes. Through various interactions microorganisms serve insects a multitude of functions such as supplementing nutrients, contributing to host-plant adaptation or as a source of semiochemicals. Consequently, the associated microbiome is sometimes the primary cause for phenotypes insects display in their natural habitat as well as in agro-ecosystems.
The entomological laboratory at Gilat is currently seeking for graduate students to examine interactions with environmental or gut-associated microbes. Current projects include:
1. Female oviposition and larval feeding behaviors in olive flies and their association to gut bacteria. How does it all relate to the fly's preference for certain olive cultivars?
2. How does the microbiome affect the development of Drosophila fruit flies in grapes? Can these associations be manipulated for control purposes?
Details: Michael Ben-Yosef firstname.lastname@example.org