IMMUNETREH: Trehalose as a source for privileged immunity in Drosophila


Kazek Michalina, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
01 Jan 2020 – 12 Feb 2023
EC, H2020-WF-01-2018, ID 867430

Title CZ: Trehalóza jako zdroj pro nadřazenou imunitu v drozofile
Title EN: Trehalose as a source for privileged immunity in Drosophila
PI: Kazek Michalina
Supervisor: Doležal Tomáš, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
Implementation: 01 Jan 2020 – 12 Feb 2023
Budget: 156 980,64 EUR (SCI)
Call: EC, H2020-WF-01-2018


The immune response is an energy demanding process and immune cells must have a privileged access to energy/nutrients. While in mammalian system, this privileged access is achieved for example by insulin-independent glucose transporter, how is it achieved in insect is not known. The host laboratory has obtained preliminary results suggesting that the privileged access of fruit fly immune cells to nutrients might be achieved by using trehalose instead of glucose. It is known for a very long time that the primary sugar in insect is trehalose but it is a completely new idea that this carbohydrate could actually play an important role in the privileged access of immunity to resources, as in one of the most fundamental evolutionary trait. The goal of this project is therefore to test if activated Drosophila immune cells preferentially uptake trehalose and convert it to glucose intracellularly, being thus independent of the systemic carbohydrate regulation, and how important would it be for an efficient immune response. The project is based on multidisciplinary approaches, when tissue-specific genetic tools will be used to manipulate metabolism in vivo in order to study immune response using techniques of molecular biology, developmental biology and immunology and state-of-the-art metabolic approaches. The goal for the researcher is to learn how to use Drosophila genetics and the infection models, well established in the host laboratory, and combine them with her expertise in insect physiology, cell culture and especially metabolomics.


  • Drosophila rearing and dissection.
  • Drosophila genetics including genetic crosses and various gene manipulations.
  • Tissue/cell-specific and transcript-specific gene expression analysis (includes learning to use FlyBase).
  • Drosophila immunology and models of infection by parasitoid wasps and bacteria.
  • Application of 13C-biology and combination of genetic manipulations with metabolic analysis.
  • Soft skills - writing proposals and publications and presenting (learning from supervisor and from presenting at conferences and faculty seminars, labmeetings), mentoring (working with students in the host laboratory).