Evolution and Development
The Evolution and Development lab aims at exploring the interface between the fields of evolution, developmental biology and physiology with the ultimate purpose of contributing to the understanding of the rules by which this interplay shapes organisms across evolutionary time.
Currently, the research group focus on immune fucntion with the aim of dissecting its proximal and ultimate mechanisms. The research team uses an experimental approach that combines the comparative method and experimental evolution, encompassing different levels of biological organization.
Specifically, the reserach group looks at:
the organismal level, using experimental evolution to study immune response evolution in Drosophila melanogaster;
the cellular level, by approaching immune cell function diversity and haematopoiesis, and
the genetic level, through the functional characterization of the genes identified with the strategies described above.
The mechanistic basis of the immune response in Drosophila has been widely studied; however, little is known about the evolutionary and physiological mechanisms that drive local adaptation to pathogens. It is also unknown if this adaptation is dependent on factors such as the infected life-stage, route of infection or pathogen type(s) and the associated trade-offs. We have used Drosophila outbred populations, in collaboration with Sara Magalhães (University of Lisbon) and Luis Teixeira (IGC), to conduct experimental evolution to different and contrasting immune challenges. We have shown that adaptation to pathogens often relies on simple genetic basis, is highly pathogen specific, highly contingent on infection route and implies little trade-offs with other life-history traits. We are currently determining in detail the genetic changes that underlie these adaptive processes using deep-sequencing technology in collaboration with Christian Schlötterer (Vienna, Austria).
We have shown previously that, contrary to the current view, Drosophila plasmatocytes (the functional analogues of vertebrate macrophages) constitute a heterogeneous population. This has been established through a novel protocol for hemocyte purification using a combination of GFP lines, specific staining and FACS analysis. Currently, we are using this technology and this knowledge to assess the putative roles of the different sub-populations in immunity and development. Using different genetic tricks to manipulate the populations under different challenges and throughout hematopoiesis, we have revealed novel control mechanisms that regulate these subpopulations. We aspire at revealing novel levels of complexity in the development and physiology of the innate response of Drosophila with the ultimate aim of contributing to a better understanding of this system in vertebrates and its evolution across metazoan.
- Kapun M, Barrón MG, Staubach F, Obbard DJ, Wiberg RAW, Vieira J, Goubert C, Rota-Stabelli O, Maaria Kankare, Bogaerts-Márquez M, Haudry A, Waidele L, Kozeretska I, Pasyukova EG, Loeschcke V, Pascual M, Vieira CP, Serga S, Montchamp-Moreau C, Abbott J, Gibert P, Porcelli D, Posnien N, Sánchez-Gracia A, Grath S, Sucena É, Bergland AO, Garcia Guerreiro MP, Sebnem Onder B, Argyridou E, Guio L, Fristrup Schou M, Deplancke B, Vieira C, Ritchie MG, Zwaan BJ, Tauber E, Orengo DJ, Puerma E, Aguadé M, Schmidt P, Parsch J, Betancourt AJ, Flatt T, González J (2020) Genomic Analysis of European Drosophila melanogaster Populations Reveals Longitudinal Structure, Continent-Wide Selection, and Previously Unknown DNA viruses. Molecular Biology and Evolution 37:2661-2678
- Faria VG, Martins NE, Schlötterer C, Sucena É. (2018) Readapting to DCV Infection without Wolbachia: Frequency Changes of Drosophila Antiviral Alleles Can Replace Endosymbiont Protection. Genome Biology and Evolution 10 (7),:1783-1791
- Santos-Matos G, Wybouw N, Martins NE, Zélé F, Riga M, Leitão AB, Vontas J, Grbić M, Van Leeuwen T, Magalhães S*, & Sucena É* (2017) Tetranychus urticae mites do not mount an induced immune response against bacteria. Proceedings of the Royal Society B284: 20170401:20170401
- Faria, V. G., Martins, N. E., Magalhães, S., Paulo, T. F., Nolte, V., Schlötterer, C., Sucena, É., Teixeira, L. (2016) Drosophila Adaptation to Viral Infection through Defensive Symbiont Evolution. PLoS Genetics 12(9):e1006297
- Leitão, A.B., Sucena, É. (2015) Drosophila sessile hemocyte clusters are true hematopoietic tissues that regulate larval blood cell differentiation. eLife 4:e06166
- Faria, V.G., Martins, N.E., Paulo, T.F., Teixeira, L., Sucena, É., Magalhães, S. (2015) Evolution of Drosophila resistance against different pathogens and infection routes entails no detectable maintenance costs. Evolution 69(11):2799–2809
- Tanaka, K., Diekmann, Y., Hazbun, A., Hijazi, A., Vreede, B., Roch, F., Sucena, É. (2015) Multi-species analysis of expression pattern diversification in the recently expanded insect Ly6 gene family. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32(7):1730-1747
- Sucena,. É., Vanderberghe, K., Zhurov, V., Grbic, M. (2014) Reversion of developmental mode in insects: evolution from long germband to short germband in the polyembrionic wasp Macrocentrus cingulum Brischke. Evolution and Development 16(4):233–246
- Fauré, A., Vreede, B.M.I., Sucena, É., Chaouiya, C. (2014) A Discrete Model of Drosophila Eggshell Patterning Reveals Cell-Autonomous and Juxtacrine Effects. PLoS Comput Biol 10(3):e1003527
- Martins, N.E., Faria, V.G., Nolte, V., Schlötterer, C., Teixeira, L., Sucena, É., Magalhães, S. (2014) Host adaptation to viruses relies on few genes with different cross-resistance properties. Proc. Natl Acad Sci USA 111(16):5938-43
- Vreede, B.M.I.., Lynch, J.A., Roth, S., Sucena, É. (2013) Co-option of a coordinate system defined by the EGFr and Dpp pathways in the evolution of a morphological novelty. Evo Devo 4 (1):7
- Martins, N.E., Faria, V.G., Teixeira, L., Magalhães, S., Sucena, É. (2013) Host adaptation is contingent upon the infection route taken by pathogens. PLOS Pathogens 9(9):e1003601
- Sucena, É and Stern, DL (2000) Divergence of larval morphology between Drosophila sechellia and its sibling species caused by cis-regulatory evolution of ovo/shaven-baby. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97(9):4530-4