Monday, December 8, 2014 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Museum of Comparative Zoology, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge

MCZ Lunchtime Seminar

"Guarding the guard. Parasite-host dynamics of Laboulbeniales and their lady beetle hosts" with Danny Haelewaters, Graduate Student, HUH, Pfister Lab

Synopsis: Laboulbeniales are obligate parasites on invertebrate hosts, including insects, millipedes, and mites. These fungi are microscopic in size, with an average length of about 200-300 µm, and exhibit different levels of specificity - host specificity (one species parasitizes a single host species); position specificity (some species are remarkably adapted to a given position on the host body); and ecological specificity (successful development of the parasite requires not only a suitable host, but also favorable environmental conditions). For my dissertation project, I am focusing on Hesperomyces virescens, which is a parasite of lady beetles. My research studies (1) genetic diversity within the Hesperomyces virescens species complex and (2) parasite-host dynamics of Laboulbeniales fungi and an invasive lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis. The multicolored Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis is a striking example of a biological introduction that did not turn out as planned, thus providing opportunities for biological control.

Contact Name: 

Catherine Weisel

Research Areas: 

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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