Oak processionary moth de novo transcriptome
We are performing the de novo transcriptomic analysis of the oak processionary moth (OPM) with Prof. Dr. med. Timo Buhl and his post-doc Dr. rer. nat. Prasad Dasari (website of the group). The urticant hairs of OPM caterpillar is causing severe allergies but the proteins responsible for this are not yet identified. Since no genomic ressources are available for this moth species, our collaborators provided us caterpillars at different stages (before and after their hair becomes allergenic) and we performed RNA-seq on them. We are working on identifiying specific genes upregulated in the allergenic stage to narrow down the list of candidate allergenic proteins.

Small-RNA feeding experiments on insects
In cooperation with the laboratory of Michael Rostast and his former master student Doga Cedden (website), we showed that small RNAs fed to a beetle fed with double-stranded small RNAs (Cedden et al 2023) can increase their mortality, providing an alternative to classical insecticide.

Flowering time in maize
In cooperation with Maike Stam (University of Amsterdam), we work on the characterization of the cis-regulatory element Vgt1, one of the main flowering time QTL in maize.