Dino P Mcmahon

Dino P Mcmahon
Freie Universität Berlin | FUB · Division of Zoology

DPhil

About

76
Publications
30,582
Reads
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2,308
Citations
Introduction
My research principally focuses on the ecology and evolution of host-pathogen relationships. Primarily using insects as a model system, I am interested in the diverse selection pressures that act on and between closely associated organisms, particularly the interplay between hosts and pathogens in complex insect societies.
Additional affiliations
July 2014 - present
Freie Universität Berlin
Position
  • Junior Group Leader
September 2011 - June 2014
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
Position
  • PostDoc Position
March 2011 - June 2014
Queen's University Belfast
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (76)
Article
Full-text available
Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) have contributed significantly to the current biodiversity crisis, leading to widespread epidemics and population loss. Owing to genetic variation in pathogen virulence, a complete understanding of species decline requires the accurate identification and characterization of EIDs. We explore this issue in the West...
Article
Full-text available
1. Insects with complete metamorphosis (holometaboly) are extremely successful, constituting over 60% of all described animal species. Complete metamorphosis confers significant advantages because it enables organisms to optimise life-history components through temporal partitioning, and thereby to exploit multiple ecological niches. Yet holometabo...
Article
Declining populations of bee pollinators are a cause of concern, with major repercussions for biodiversity loss and food security. RNA viruses associated with honeybees represent a potential threat to other insect pollinators, but the extent of this threat is poorly understood. This study aims to attain a detailed understanding of the current and o...
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing appreciation that hosts in natural populations are subject to infection by multiple parasite species. Yet the epidemiological and ecological processes determining the outcome of mixed infections are poorly understood. Here, we use two intracellular gut parasites (Microsporidia), one exotic and one co-evolved in the western honey...
Article
Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) pose a risk to human welfare, both directly and indirectly, by affecting managed livestock and wildlife that provide valuable resources and ecosystem services, such as the pollination of crops. Honeybees (Apis mellifera), the prevailing managed insect crop pollinator, suffer from a range of emerging and exotic hi...
Article
Full-text available
Background Host–pathogen interactions can lead to dramatic changes in host feeding behaviour. One aspect of this includes self-medication, where infected individuals consume substances such as toxins or alter their macronutrient consumption to enhance immune competence. Another widely adopted animal response to infection is illness-induced anorexia...
Article
Full-text available
Honeybee symbionts, predominantly bacteria, play important roles in honeybee health, nutrition, and pathogen protection, thereby supporting colony health. On the other hand, fungi are often considered indicators of poor bee health, and honeybee microbiome studies generally exclude fungi and yeasts. We hypothesized that yeasts may be an important as...
Article
Full-text available
Many recent studies highlight the fundamental importance of viruses. Besides their important role as human and animal pathogens, their beneficial, commensal or harmful functions are poorly understood. By developing and applying tailored bioinformatical tools in important virological models, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Initiative International Traini...
Article
The evolution of biological complexity is associated with the emergence of bespoke immune systems that maintain and protect organism integrity. Unlike the well-studied immune systems of cells and individuals, little is known about the origins of immunity during the transition to eusociality, a major evolutionary transition comparable to the evoluti...
Preprint
Full-text available
The evolution of biological complexity is associated with the emergence of bespoke immune systems that maintain and protect organism integrity. Unlike the well studied immunity at the cell and individual level, little is known about the origins of immunity during the transition to eusociality,a major evolutionary transition comparable to the evolut...
Article
Full-text available
Social insect colonies can express adaptive, organism-like design. In some cases, colonies so resemble a unique, cohesive and integrated "individual" that they are termed superorganisms. The major evolutionary transitions framework explains, via inclusive fitness theory, how new levels of biological individuality, including genes into genomes withi...
Article
There are viral, fungal, bacterial and trypanosomal pathogens that negatively impact the individual and superorganismal health of the western honey bee. One fungal pathogen, Ascosphaera apis, affects larvae and is the etiological agent of the disease chalkbrood. A previous genome analysis of A. apis revealed that its genome encodes for RNA interfer...
Article
Full-text available
Social immune behaviors are described in a great variety of insect societies and their role in preventing emerging infectious diseases has become a major topic in insect research. The social immune system consists of multiple layers, ranging from the synthesis of external immune molecules to the coordination of individual behaviors into sophisticat...
Chapter
With the advent of widely accessible and cost-effective next-generation sequencing technologies, it has become increasingly feasible to study insect immunity on a deep genomic or transcriptomic level. Here we introduce a protocol that is aimed at exploiting transcriptomic data to study immunity in non-model insect organisms. We provide instructions...
Article
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RNA virus populations are composed of highly diverse individuals that form a cloud of related sequences commonly referred to as a ‘quasispecies’1–3. This diversity arises as a consequence of low-fidelity genome replication4,5. By contrast, DNA virus populations contain more uniform individuals with similar fitness⁶. Genome diversity is often correl...
Preprint
Full-text available
There are viral, fungal, bacterial and trypanosomal pathogens that negatively impact the individual and superorganismal health of the western honey bee. One fungal pathogen, Ascosphaera apis, affects larvae and causes the disease chalkbrood. A previous genome analysis of As. apis revealed that its genome encodes for RNA interference genes, similar...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
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Wild bees are important pollinators of wild plants and agricultural crops and they are threatened by several environmental stressors including emerging pathogens. Honey bees have been suggested as a potential source of pathogen spillover. One prevalent pathogen that has recently emerged as a honey bee disease is the microsporidian Nosema ceranae. W...
Article
Termitidae comprises ∼80% of all termite species [1] that play dominant decomposer roles in tropical ecosystems [2, 3]. Two major events during termite evolution were the loss of cellulolytic gut protozoans in the ancestor of Termitidae and the subsequent gain in the termitid subfamily Macrotermitinae of fungal symbionts cultivated externally in "c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Host-pathogen interactions can lead to dramatic changes in host feeding behaviour. One aspect of this includes self-medication, where infected individuals consume substances such as toxins, minerals or secondary compounds or alter their macronutrient consumption to enhance immune competence. Another aspect includes illness-induced anorexia, which i...
Article
Full-text available
• Wild bees are important pollinators for agricultural crops and solitary species such as Osmia bicornis are particularly suitable for pollination management. Wild bees share floral resources with managed honey bees and may be exposed to emerging infectious diseases. Although studies have explored the prevalence of pathogens in solitary wild bee sp...
Article
Full-text available
Social insects employ a range of behaviours to protect their colonies against disease, but little is known about how such collective behaviours are orchestrated. This is especially true for the social Blattodea (termites). We developed an experimental approach that allowed us to explore how the social response to disease is co-ordinated by multiste...
Article
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The Second Annual Meeting of the European Virus Bioinformatics Center (EVBC), held in Utrecht, Netherlands, focused on computational approaches in virology, with topics including (but not limited to) virus discovery, diagnostics, (meta-)genomics, modeling, epidemiology, molecular structure, evolution, and viral ecology. The goals of the Second Annu...
Article
Full-text available
Emerging infectious diseases arise as a result of novel interactions between populations of hosts and pathogens, and can threaten the health and wellbeing of the entire spectrum of biodiversity. Bees and their viruses are a case in point. However, detailed knowledge of the ecological factors and evolutionary forces that drive disease emergence in b...
Article
Despite the recognized excellence of virology and bioinformatics, these two communities have interacted surprisingly sporadically, aside from some pioneering work on HIV-1 and influenza. Bringing together the expertise of bioinformaticians and virologists is crucial, since very specific but fundamental computational approaches are required for viru...
Article
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The importance of soldiers to termite society defense has long been recognized, but the contribution of soldiers to other societal functions, such as colony immunity, is less well understood. We explore this issue by examining the role of soldiers in protecting nestmates against pathogen infection. Even though they are unable to engage in grooming...
Preprint
Full-text available
Termites defend their colonies from disease using an array of social behaviours, including allogrooming, cannibalism, and burial. We tested how groups of eastern subterranean termites (Reticulitermes flavipes) deploy these behaviours when presented with a nestmate at different stages of infection with the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopl...
Article
Full-text available
Bees are considered to be threatened globally, with severe overwinter losses of the most important commercial pollinator, the Western honeybee, a major concern in the Northern Hemisphere. Emerging infectious diseases have risen to prominence due to their temporal correlation with colony losses. Among these is Deformed wing virus (DWV), which has be...
Article
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Virulence determines the impact a pathogen has on the fitness of its host, yet current understanding of the evolutionary origins and causes of virulence of many pathogens is surprisingly incomplete. Here, we explore the evolution of Marek's disease virus (MDV), a herpesvirus commonly afflicting chickens and rarely other avian species. The history o...
Article
Full-text available
After the publication of this work [1] it was noticed that there was a typesetting error in figure 5 where two additional red lines were added in the sections "gene expression profiles" and "transformed gene expression profiles". The original article was corrected to remove these lines.
Article
Full-text available
Background: Organisms typically face infection by diverse pathogens, and hosts are thought to have developed specific responses to each type of pathogen they encounter. The advent of transcriptomics now makes it possible to test this hypothesis and compare host gene expression responses to multiple pathogens at a genome-wide scale. Here, we perform...
Article
Full-text available
Task allocation in social insect colonies is generally organised into an age-related division of labour, termed the temporal polyethism schedule, which may in part have evolved to reduce infection of the colony’s brood by pests and pathogens. The temporal polyethism schedule is sensitive to colony perturbations that may lead to adaptive changes in...
Article
Full-text available
Nosema ceranae, an emerging pathogen of the western honeybee (Apis mellifera), is implicated in recent pollinator losses and causes severe energetic stress. However, whether precocious foraging and accelerated behavioural maturation in infected bees are caused by the infection itself or via indirect energetic stress remains unknown. Using a combina...
Data
Table S1. List of qRT‐PCR primers used in this study
Data
Fig. S1. BQCV, ABPV and SBPV cloned sequence alignments.
Data
Fig. S2. Phylogenetic trees of cloned BQCV and SBPV sequences.
Data
Table S2. Detailed sample information by collection site
Data
Table S3. GLMM and GLM final models with A. mellifera virus prevalence as the response variable
Data
Fig. S3. Summary prevalence (%) of RNA viruses in A. mellifera and Bombus spp.
Data
Fig. S4. Linear regressions of raw A. mellifera and Bombus spp. RNA virus prevalence data.
Article
Full-text available
Pathogens may gain a fitness advantage through manipulation of the behaviour of their hosts. Likewise, host behavioural changes can be a defence mechanism, counteracting the impact of pathogens on host fitness. We apply harmonic radar technology to characterize the impact of an emerging pathogen - Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) - on honeybee (Apis...
Article
Full-text available
The microsporidian Nosema ceranae was first reported from Beijing, China, in the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana, which is often assumed to be its original host (Fries et al., 1996). Nowadays N. ceranae is found worldwide in Apis mellifera (Klee et al., 2007), and it has been blamed as a cause of colony collapse in A. mellifera (Paxton, 2010). In the...
Article
Full-text available
The discovery of endoreduplication in the majority of cells of the thorax of Drosophila has implications for genomics, transcriptome levels, chromatin structure and life history of these model insects. The ratio of 2C/4C DNA amounts is 2.00 for nuclei from the head, yet is 1.75 and 1.83 for nuclei from the thorax of wild type and suppressor of unde...
Article
Full-text available
Methods are described for working with Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae in the field and in the laboratory. For fieldwork, different sampling methods are described to determine colony level infections at a given point in time, but also for following the temporal infection dynamics. Suggestions are made for how to standardise field trials for evaluati...
Article
Full-text available
Adult honey bees are maintained in vitro in laboratory cages for a variety of purposes. For example, researchers may wish to perform experiments on honey bees caged individually or in groups to study aspects of parasitology, toxicology, or physiology under highly controlled conditions, or they may cage whole frames to obtain freshly emerged workers...
Article
Full-text available
The intricate nest building, cleaning and provisioning habits of the solitary hunting wasps Ammophila fernaldi Murray and A. pictipennis (Walsh) (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae) are supposed to have developed in response to parasite pressure. This paper presents the first study to record the behavior of phoresy of Paraxenos lugubris Pierce (Strepsiptera: S...
Article
Full-text available
The mango leafhopper Idioscopus clypealis (Lethierry) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) from the Philippines is parasitized by two genera of Strepsiptera, Halictophagus and Callipharixenos. A redescription of the male Halictophagus fulmeki (Hofeneder), a new record and description of its conspecific female and a key to Halictophagus in the Philippines are...
Data
Specimen, primer information and rRNA template alignments. Genbank accession and specimen source information; list of primers used in this study (*Primers designed for short-fragment PCR) and 18 rRNA and 16S rRNA template secondary structural alignments. (DOC)
Data
Divergence time and molecular rate patterns using the nuclear 18S rRNA dataset. Red: % molecular rate mapped for each node at corresponding distances from root. Blue: Ln number of cumulative lineages at corresponding distances from root. This corroborates the analysis using the mitochondrial partition (Figure 2), confirming that the observed patter...
Data
Exploration of data quality across the mitochondrial genes. Transitions and transversions estimated under the F84 model were plotted against genetic distance for each codon position: Green = 1sts, Blue = 2nds, Orange = 3rds. Signal versus noise was graphically visualized using quartet likelihood mapping. (TIF)
Data
Summary of Strepsiptera divergence times. Summary of divergence time estimates for the major nodes in the Strepsiptera phylogeny using the combined mitochondrial coding gene (cox1+nad1) partition. *Pairwise sequence divergences per million years. Clade abbreviations follow figure 1. †Node ages defined by exponential priors. (DOC)
Data
RRTest comparative analysis across strepsipteran clades. Bold = P-value with significant rate comparison (bonferroni corrected). *Marginally non-significant after bonferroni adjustment in the mitochondrial (A) and 18S rRNA partition (B). Clade abbreviations follow figure 1. (DOC)
Data
rRNA variabe and core domain structural attributes mapped onto the Strepsiptera phylogeny. (A) 18S variable (bar) and core (filled circle) A+T% content. (B) 16S variable (bar) and core (filled circle) A+T% content. (C) Variable domain size (nucleotide length) for the 18S (red) and 16S (black) genes. Outgroups grey and highlighted. Clade abbreviatio...
Data
List of characters and corresponding states recovered in the reconstruction of strepsipteran morphological traits. The position in the phylogeny of significant character reconstructions appears in brackets next to the corresponding state, followed by the BF range supporting that reconstruction. Some characters may be considered dependent, if single...
Data
Test of saturation by mitochondrial gene and codon position. *Statistics indicating little saturation. †Statistics with substantial saturation (bold). ‡Statistics indicating useless/very poor sequence for phylogenetics (bold). Ts = symmetrical T-statistic. Tns = non-symmetrical T-statistic. (DOC)
Article
Full-text available
A comprehensive model of evolution requires an understanding of the relationship between selection at the molecular and phenotypic level. We investigate this in Strepsiptera, an order of endoparasitic insects whose evolutionary biology is poorly studied. We present the first molecular phylogeny of Strepsiptera, and use this as a framework to invest...