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Research conducted by the Laboratory of Nematology is part of the research program of the Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS) and the C.T. de Wit Graduate School for Production Ecology & Resource Conservation (PE&RC).
Only recently a natural virus affecting the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was discovered. The virus (coined the Orsay virus) was discovered in a natural population of the free-living nematode. This discovery provides the opportunity to study virus-host interactions in natural populations using quantitative genetic analysis tools. In this approach naturally occurring polymorphisms of C. elegans are used to create a population of recombinants. By screening quantitative effects in a panel of these RILs we can determine which polymorphism(s) underlie a certain trait.
But that is only one side of the story, because we are dealing with a novel virus there are a lot of virological questions to be answered. Therefore we cooperate with the Pijlman group at the Laboratory of Virology of Wageningen University. Together we have the expertise in molecular biology and quantitative genetics to successfully explore the exciting world of virus -C. elegans interactions.