Special Issue "Insect Immunity"
A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2012)
Dr. Brian P. Lazzaro (Website)
Department of Entomology, 3134 Comstock Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
The study of infection and immunity in insects has grown to considerable prominence over the past several decades. Early work in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s focused on the biochemistry of insect immunity and the (fruitless) search for insect analogs of vertebrate antibodies. A transformational element of functional genetics emerged in the 1990s, emphasizing the Drosophila model system, with work from this era earning a share of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The emergence of widespread genome sequencing in the 2000s allowed comparative genomic analyses that revealed the strikingly high degree of conservation in immune system genes even across insects hundreds of millions of years diverged. The study of insect immunity is now extraordinarily multidisciplinary. Because fundamental aspects of the immune system are conserved across all animals, insects can serve as valuable biomedical models for the study of immune system function and pathogen virulence. The study of insect immunity is also important in its own right, with managed infection at the core of new approaches to the biological control of insect agricultural pests and vectors of human disease. The interactions between insects and their pathogens continue to elucidate basic principles in evolutionary biology, ecology, and the epidemiology of infectious disease. We wish to use this special issue of Insects to highlight the diversity and depth of research into the functional biology, evolution, and translational application of infection and immunity in insects.
Dr. Brian P. Lazzaro
- insect immunity
- invertebrate immunity
- innate immune systems
- host-pathogen interactions
- immune system genetics