dr. E. Geuverink
My research is focused on the genetic basis behind variation in development and utilizes functional genetic studies, in combination with new sequencing technologies, to examine the molecular mechanisms of bacterial interference on sex determination. Many parasites manipulate the behaviour, physiology or even reproduction of their host. A particularly intriguing group of parasites are endosymbiotic bacteria that live inside body cells of insects. They are maternally inherited and have evolved different ways to manipulate their hosts into producing more females, including shifting the host from sexual to asexual reproduction. To understand the mechanisms of endosymbiont manipulation of host reproduction, knowledge of the sex determination mechanisms of the host is crucial. The next challenge is to uncover the regulatory processes by which endosymbionts manipulate host reproduction. This will yield insight in the ways endosymbionts can manipulate host reproduction to their own advantage and in how they can be exploited for control of insect pests and disease vectors.