Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

Uncovering Skin Immune Proteins as Predictors of Resistance against WNS

Department

Biology Department

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Disciplines

Life Sciences

Abstract

We are launching a new study to investigate the composition of bat skin immune proteins as predictors of resistance to white-nose syndrome (WNS), and to discover the mechanisms underlying the survival of remnant populations in the WNS-affected area. The project uses proteomics to characterize and compare the diversity and relative abundance of skin immune proteins of five bat species that vary in observed rates of WNS-associated mortality (Myotis lucifugus, Eptesicus fuscus, M. austroriparius, M. grisescens, and Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus). We will compare protein profiles among species to test the prediction that certain proteins related to anti-fungal responses are more prevalent in species that appear to suffer less from the effects of WNS, such as M. grisescens and C. townsendii virginianus. To test the prediction that proteins prevalent in survivors of more highly susceptible species are similar to those found in resistant species, M. lucifugus and E. fuscus are being more extensively sampled both within and outside of the WNS-affected area and their protein profiles will be compared between sites. Microsatellite genotyping will be used to quantify levels of relatedness among sampled individuals, which will allow for functional and adaptive similarity in immunological proteins to be differentiated from similarity due to common ancestry. We focus on antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), a set of proteins that is known to kill or inhibit the growth of invading microorganisms such as fungi. Finally, we will investigate these peptides as a control for WNS.

Conference Name

North American Symposium on Bat Research

Conference Location

Albany, NY

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