NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Vanderbilt University announced last week that the National Science Foundation has awarded Associate Professor Seth Bordenstein a $950,000 grant to study genes involved in regulating bacterial infections that are passed between insect generations.

The grant will allow a comparative study of two species of wasps that differ in the microbial densities of an infection by bacteria in the genus Wolbachia. Wolbachia have carved out a niche by infecting the germ cell tissues of almost 40 percent of all insect species, Bordenstein told GenomeWeb.

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