Eetu Selenius and Jenna Lommi have completed their Master’s Degrees.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has awarded funding for our collaboration with Chris Jiggins (University of Cambridge, UK) and Frank Chan (Friedrich Miescher Laboratory, Germany).
The project is titled: “Understanding the genetic control of a complex polymorphism”.
This collaboration brings together
– expertise in insect genetics and genomics
– novel sequencing approaches
– detailed ecological and behavioural knowledge of a polymorphic moth species.
Antibiotics are generally used to both increase and accelerate the growth of livestock. However, a new publication by three members of our group – Juan Galarza, Liam Murphy and Johanna Mappes – finds that the growth benefits gained by antibiotic use may come costly.
In this study, moth larvae that were treated with growth-inducing antibiotics significantly down-regulated genes involved in immunity and up-regulated genes associated with growth. As a result, the larvae grew faster but compromised their immune system in doing so.
Global concerns over antibiotic use have mainly focused on antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains. Our research gives new insight on the relatively unknown mechanisms of growth-inducing antibiotics, and the potential trade-off between rapid growth and fully functioning immune system.
Article: Galarza JA, Murphy L, Mappes J. Antibiotics accelerate growth at the expense of immunity. Proc. R. Soc. B. 2021; 288: 20211819. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.1819