Using mainly molecular approaches, we are working to describe the cellular and humoral components of Lepidoptera involved in blocking the progression of the pathogens and/or attenuate their detrimental effects. In that sense, using methods for gene expression analysis (DNA-microarray, RNA-seq, etc) we are identifying those genes and pathways involved in the interaction of the insect midgut with baculovirus but also with the B. thuringiensis and its insecticidal toxins. In the case of baculovirus, we have additionally characterized the viral transcriptional response and such information is being used in improving baculovirus as a gene expression vector.
Moreover, the use of cell cultures provide a controlled and simplified model to explore the gene changes after challenging with a microbial agent.
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