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Identification of host defenses in the Drosophila gut using genome-scale RNAi
Published on February 4, 2014 37 min
A selection of talks on Methods
Artificial intelligence in medicine: history & state of the art
- Prof. John Fox
- University of Oxford, UK
Understanding statistics in epidemics and pandemics: lessons learned from COVID-19
- Prof. Sarah Ransdell
- Nova Southeastern University, USA
International biobanking: overview of key practices and policies
- Dr. Jim Vaught
- Editor in Chief, Biopreservation & Biobanking, USA
Hello My name is Dominique Ferrandon. I've been working on Drosophila innate immunity in Strasbourg for more than 15 years. Today, I'm going to present how Drosophila are used to model intestinal infections and shows that, thanks to its advanced genetics, it provides a powerful paradigm to understand the different facets of mucous host defenses.
The first question to address is- why one should use Drosophila to study innate immunity? Many fly stocks can be raised at relatively low cost. Also Drosophila has a short life cycle and produces an abundant offspring. As will be illustrated in this talk, its main strength, however, lies in its genetics, especially the ability to perform genome-wide screens in a living animal. As regards immunity, flies like a conventional adaptive immunity. And first, it is easier to correlate the effect of mutations in immunity genes to a phenotype of susceptibility to a given pathogen.
This slide shows that we share with Drosophila a common ancestor that lived more than three-quarters of a billion years ago. One should note the acquisition of the machinery to generate somatic recombinant immunoreceptors in gnathosomes. And first, you must extend vertebrates some 450 million years ago. Thus, given this long period of evolution, is it meaningful to study the anatomy of insects to understand our own immune system?
The answer to this question is illustrated in this slide. This common Metazoan ancestor evolved in a world that was already dominated by microbes. Thus, evolution had already selected a primeval immune system from which both the protostomian and the deuterostomian immune systems are derived. Even though they may not share the same molecules, many of the primordial principles have been conserved throughout evolution, and therefore results obtained in the Drosophila model system may guide investigations in mammalian models. This concept is especially well-illustrated by the study of the Drosophila systemic immune response presented in the next slide.