Department of Biology
Friday 2 June 2023, 1.00PM
Speaker(s): Professor Matthias Marti (Wellcome Centre for Integrative Parasitology, University of Glasgow)
Malaria parasites have coevolved with humans over thousands of years, mirroring their migration out of Africa.
They persist to this day, despite continuous elimination efforts worldwide. Life-history theory predicts that parasites can adjust investment into (within-host) replication versus (between-host) transmission, dependent on the environmental conditions.
Studies in P. falciparum revealed that epigenetic mechanisms regulate the plasticity in sexual conversion rates (i.e. the proportion in a given asexual cohort that produce sexual, transmissive progeny) in response to changes in the within-host environment.
Given the spread and persistence of malaria parasites across a wide range of transmission settings, it is likely that the sexual conversion rate is also be subject to natural selection.
I will present data demonstrating that both environmental and genetic factors contribute to the regulation of malaria transmission.
Location: B/K018, Dianna Bowles Lecture Theatre
Admission: In-person only