Marine sponge-microbe interactions and the origin of animal innate immunity (2019–2023)

This Project aims to address how the animal innate immune system evolved to discriminate between potential pathogens versus beneficial symbionts by studying a simple and highly tractable model, a marine sponge holobiont. Using advanced genomic and cellular approaches, the Project will uncover deeply conserved regulatory pathways used by the cells of sponges, humans and other animals, and thereby identify cardinal rules governing animal innate immunity and its evolutionary origin. These unique insights will provide an understanding of how beneficial microbial symbionts are recruited and maintained by animals, and are instrumental to the health of our environment and all its inhabitants.
Grant type:
ARC Discovery Projects
Funded by:
Australian Research Council