Start Date: Apr 01, 2009
End Date: Aug 31, 2013
1) Perform a large-scale EST study using 454 pyrosequencing technology to identify potential viruses infecting fire ants using bioinformatics tools and manual annotation of genes. 2) Confirm that newly discovered viruses occur within S. invicta and are not contaminants. 3) Sequence the entire genomes of newly discovered viruses. 4) Use an existing cDNA microarray to determine the host response to viral infections by comparing and identifying genes differentially expressed between virus-infected and uninfected fire ants. 5) Sequence multiple genomes of a single virus and multiple alleles of host genes that respond to viral infection and examine their molecular evolution.