Specialization trade-offs and ecology of dispersal in phytophagous mites (PhD project)

PI: Alicja Laska

Co-investigators: Anna Skoracka, Mateusz Konczal (supervisors)

Description: The aim of the project is to explain genetic mechanisms of trade-offs in host specialization and generalization. I intend to focus on this important and timely issue, using an obligate plant parasite Aceria tosichella (wheat curl mite, WCM) as a study system. Despite being the most important mite pest of wheat with great invasive potential, the mechanisms of host specialization in this mite have not yet been studied. Moreover, in the course of the project, I investigate the interactions between phenotypic-dependent traits and context-dependent stimuli in view of the effectiveness of the passive dispersal process.