Evolutionary Systems Virology Group
  This is the web page of the Evolutionary Systems Virology Group headed by Prof. Santiago F. Elena at the Instituto de Biologia Integrativa de Sistemas  
EvolSysVir Research Lines

Among the projects that we are currently working on, we would like to highlight the following:
  1. Role of Arabidopsis thaliana's genetic diversity for susceptibility-to-infection genes and resistance signaling pathways in the evolution of virulence of a picorna-like plant virus, turnip mosaic potyvirus (TuMV).
  2. Interplay between epigenetic modifications and viral infection. In collaboration with Prof. Sir David Baulcombe (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK) and Dr. Gustavo G. Gómez (I2SysBio).
  3. Role of epigenetics in the synergistic/antagonistic interactions among viruses coinfecting the same A. thaliana plant.
  4. Role of host's population structure and local adaptation in the rates of TuMV evolution and the evolution of its virulence and infectivity.
  5. Using genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify A. thaliana genes differentially responding to  infection with non-adapted and well-adapted TuMV strains.  In collaboration with Prof. Magnus Nordborg (Gregor Mendel Institute, Vienna, Austria).
  6. Using GWAS to identify host genes that are differentially targeted by generalist and specialist TuMV strains.
  7. Experimental determination and computational analysis of host-potyvirus protein-protein interaction networks (PPIN) and their evolution. In collaboration with Dr. Guillermo Rodrigo (I2SysBio) and Dr. Sergi Valverde (CSIC-Institut de Biologia Evolutiva, Barcelona, Spain).
  8. Evolutionary transitions from parasitism to mutualism in plant-virus pathosystems as a response to environmental stresses. In collaboration with Prof. Pedro Carrasco (Universitat de València, València, Spain) and Prof. Aurelio Gómez-Cadenas (Universitat Jaume I, Castelló, Spain).
  9. Evolution of mechanisms of genetic robustness in highly mutable RNA genomes. Test of the plastogenetic congruence hypothesis for the evolution of mutational robustness.
  10. Evolution of genetic architecture, gene content and gene order in picorna-like plant potyviruses.
  11. Molecular evolution, phylogenetics, phylogeography and molecular epidemiology studies of different plant (e.g., apple stem pitting foveavirus, pepino mosaic potexvirus, potato Y potyvirus, tomato black ring nepovirus, tospoviruses...) and fungal (Thrichoderma harziaunum bipartite mycovirus 1) viruses. In collaboration with a wide network of awesome colleagues abroad.
  12. Identification of early-warning signals of transitions from health to disease during plant infections using transcriptomic data. Development of new statistical and computational approaches. In collaboration with Dr. José A. OteoDr. Wladimiro Díaz and Dr. Vicente Arnau (I2SysBio).
  13. Development of mathematical models of virus-host coevolution in fluctuating coupled fitness landscapes. In collaboration with Prof. Ricard V. Solé (ICREA-Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain) and Dr. Sergi Valverde.
  14. Development of mathematical models for the evolution of specialist and generalist viruses. In collaboration with Dr. Josep Sardanyés and Prof. Lluís Alsedà (Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, Barcelona, Spain).
  15. Mathematical models for the evolution of segmented multipartite viruses, RNA satellites and defective interfering particles. In collaboration with Dr. Josep Sardanyés and Prof. Tomás Alarcón (Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, Barcelona, Spain),  Dr. J. Tomás Lázaro (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain) and Dr. Mark P. Zwart (KNAW-NIOO, Wageningen, The Neatherlands).
  16. Mathematical and simulation models for exploring the rules of microbiome assambly: from Black Queen to Red Queen. In colaboration with Prof. David Wolpert and Dr. Jacopo Grilli (Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe NM, USA).