Parasitic Nematodes: Bridging the Divide workshop abstract solicitation

As part of the 21st International C.elegans conference, we would like to solicit contributions to the workshop on parasitic nematodes.

We are pleased to invite student and postdoc abstract submissions for 5 minute lightning talks to be presented at the NSF-sponsored, 3rd Parasitic Nematodes: Bridging the Divide workshop. We encourage submissions that address the broad theme of C. elegans as a model for parasitic nematode biology, including work relating to human, animal, and plant parasitic nematodes and from both a basic biology standpoint or a translational perspective. The platform provided by this workshop represents a unique opportunity for early-career scientists to interact with other researchers at the intersection of C. elegans biology and parasitology. These five minute talks will be presented on the first day of the 21st International C. elegans Meeting. The presenting authors must be available during any of the limited number of possible time slots available. Abstract submissions are due on May 12th at 5pm PST and presenting authors will be notified of decisions by May 19th. Instructions for logistics and formatting of lightning talk presentations will follow acceptance.

Abstract Format: Abstracts should be limited to 2,500 characters in total, including the title, authors, author affiliations, main body, and spaces. Abstracts should be sent to the workshop e-mail address ( as a single PDF file with subject heading “Lightning Talk Abstract”. A notification of receipt will follow submission. Accepted abstracts will appear online in a Worm Breeder’s Gazette article and titles will be listed on the International Worm Meeting website.

Workshop Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Workshop Time: 2:30pm- 5:30pm
Workshop Location: Sunset Village Grand Horizon Ballroom

Lightning Talk Abstract Submission Deadline: May 12, 2017 (5pm PST)
Notification of Acceptance: May 19, 2017


Evolution of pathogen and parasite avoidance behaviours – Theo Murphy meeting

Monday 12 – Tuesday 13 June 2017 evolution-social-media
The Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre

Organised by Dr Rachel McMullan and Cecile Sarabian

Dear Colleague

I am organising an exciting 2-day, residential-style meeting at Royal Society Chicheley Hall on 12-13 June 2017 entitled, Evolution of pathogen and parasite avoidance behaviours.

This meeting will bring together a multidisciplinary group of scientists in the field of pathogen and parasite avoidance, such as invertebrates, vertebrates and humans. Further information can be found here:

The meeting is free to attend; participants just have to cover their accommodation, travel and subsistence. Please let me know if you need more information.

Best wishes


Featured Paper:Genomes of Fasciola hepatica

We would like to point you to
Genomes of Fasciola hepatica from the Americas Reveal Colonization with Neorickettsia Endobacteria Related to the Agents of Potomac Horse and Human Sennetsu Fevers. by McNutty SN, et al. published in PLOS Genetics.

It not only describes the genome of Fasciola hepatica, as can be seen on WormBase ParaSite, but also describes the first observation of endobacteria in this species.

Featured Paper: trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase evolution in parasitic nematodes

We would like to draw your attention to the paper Probing function and structure of trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatases from pathogenic organisms suggests distinct molecular groupings. by Megan Cross, et al.

As trehalose is an essential disaccharide for many pathogens (including parasites) but is neither required nor synthesized by mammalian cells, the biosynthetic pathway of trehalose thus constitutes a candidate target for chemotherapeutic intervention.

There is also an overview of The role of trehalose in the physiology of nematodes by Behm CA in 1997, which might be of interest as it explains the underlying pathway.

The phylogeny can be also easily seen on the comparative gene tree of the B.malayi gene.

Featured Paper: The genome of Onchocerca volvulus, agent of river blindness

The publication “The genome of Onchocerca volvulus, agent of river blindness” by James A Cotton, et. al describes in detail the O. volvulus genome available at WormBase and ParaSite.

It includes a section on gene family evolution of O. volvulus and relatives showing the phylogeny of 9 selected nematodes covering 3 clades. In addition it describes potential drug targets based on their predicted metabolic pathway in relation to their druggability by known compounds, which could be expanded to other organisms.

This paper can be also cited as reference for the genome assemblies.

Featured Paper: Nuclear hormone receptors in parasitic helminths

I would like to draw your attention to the review on the evolution of “nuclear hormone receptors in parasitic helminths” by Wenjie Wu and Philip LoVerde published in the Journal for Molecular Cell Endocrinology in 2011.

It gives an overview on how nuclear receptors (NR) evolved in platyhelminths and nematodes. By searching for a cited accession number (a.e. AY395038 , which is the Schistosoma mansoni SmTRα receptor) on ParaSite you can easily find the respective gene and visualise the evolutionary relationships in the Ortholog/GeneTree section.


(SmTRα – the red rectangle marks the duplication event, the red highlighting the queried gene)

Featured Paper: 25 Years of the Onchocerca ochengi Model

We would like to point out the review article “25 Years of the Onchocerca ochengi Model” written by Benjamin Makepeace (University of Liverpool) and Vincent Tanya (Cameroon Academy of Sciences), describing past and ongoing Onchocerca ochengi research.


Although of limited veterinary significance, Onchocerca ochengi has become famous as a natural model or ‘analogue’ of human onchocerciasis (river blindness), which is caused by Onchocerca volvulus. On the basis of both morphological and molecular criteria, O. ochengi is the closest extant relative of O. volvulus and shares several key natural history traits with the human pathogen. These include exploitation of the same group of insect vectors (blackflies of the Simulium damnosum complex) and formation of collagenous nodules with a similar histological structure to human nodules. Here, we review the contribution of this natural system to drug and vaccine discovery efforts, as well as to our basic biological understanding of Onchocerca spp., over the past quarter-century.