Computational Modelling Group

Identification of novel Crustacean Pathogen Receptor Proteins

2nd September 2008
Research Team
Oyindamola Lawal, Lloyd Mushambadzi
Richard Edwards, Chris Hauton, Timothy Elliott

The green shore crab and leucine-rich repeat regions of Toll-like receptor 3. (Not to scale.)

This project combines specialist in silico techniques for novel gene discovery and molecular biological methods to identify, isolate and sequence novel pathogen receptor proteins (PRPs) within the genome and transcriptome of several crustacean species, with a specific focus on the the protostome shore crab Carcinus maenas, a model for commercially-important decapod crustaceans. This project is part of a larger collaboration between the Schools of Medicine, Ocean & Earth Science (& NOCS) and Biological Sciences to study the differential expression of receptors in C. maenas following sub-lethal pathogen challenge.

To investigate proposed theories of specificity and memory within the invertebrate immune response, it is absolutely essential that underlying mechanisms can be identified in a range of invertebrate taxa, including a diverse array of protostome species. This project is using bioinformatics and molecular evolution techniques (homology searching, sequence alignment, phylogenetics etc.), implemented in a custom bioinformatic pipeline, FIESTA, to identify potential novel receptors from a variety of putative immune receptor families.


Life sciences simulation: Bioinformatics, Biomedical, Ecology, Evolution

Programming languages and libraries: Python

Computational platforms: Iridis, Linux, Windows