Wolbachia 2016 Conference


The Wolbachia 2016 conference was held at O'Reilly's in Brisbane's Lamington National Park with sponsorship from HIE

Group photo of delegates at the Wolbachia 2016 Conference

From 28 June to 3 July the 9th International Wolbachia Conference (http://wolbachia2016.org) was held at O'Reilly's in the Lamington National Park, Queensland.

The conference attracted 81 delegates (including 27 postgraduate students) from 20 countries. The theme of the conference was "Wolbachia in the rainforest", and included 45 talks and 24 posters in 15 sessions, spanning ecology and evolution of Wolbachia, the most ubiquitous microbial symbiont, and its interactions with arthropods and nematodes; endosmbiont genomics; molecular and cellular biology of symbiosis; Wolbachia/endosymbiont and pathogen interactions, applications of Wolbachia technologies, Wolbachiaand filarial nematodes, other microbial symbioses.

This conference was supported by the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, and hosted by A/Prof. Markus Riegler who chaired the Conference Organising Committee.

Other HIE delegates were Dr Jennifer Morrow and Dr Duong Nguyen who presented their research "Comparative Wolbachia genomics in transinfected fruit fly lines" and "Male development, post-embryonic and embryonic mortality – diverse outcomes of Cardinium- and Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility in thrips."

Why Wolbachia Is So Significant

Wolbachia is the most common microbial symbiont. The interactions between the Wolbachia bacterium and its insect hosts are complex. Researchers are investigating how the diverse relationships between Wolbachia and insects can be used to change the functioning of insects such as fruit flies and mosquitoes that cause enormous damage to agricultural productivity and human health.

For example, Wolbachia can influence the fertility of some insects and its potential for enhancing the use of the Sterile Insect Technique to control Queensland Fruit Fly, or the development of Incompatible Insect Technique for other pest insects areas of research at HIE.

Wolbachia inside a cell. Image credit Scott O'Neill - Genome Sequence of the Intracellular Bacterium Wolbachia. PLoS Biol 2/3/2004: e76. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020076
Image credit: Scott O'Neill - Genome Sequence of the Intracellular Bacterium Wolbachia. PLoS Biol 2/3/2004: e76. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020076

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