Magalhães, S. & Sucena, E. (2016) Genetics of host-parasite interactions: towards a comprehensive dissection of Drosophila resistance to viral infection.Molecular Ecology, 20, 4981-4983. DOI:10.1111/mec.13834 (IF2015 5,947; Q1 Ecology)
One of the major challenges in evolutionary biology is to unravel the genetic basis of adaptation. This issue has been gaining momentum in recent years with the accelerated development of novel genetic and genomic techniques and resources. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Cogni et al. (2016) address the genetic basis of resistance to two viruses in Drosophila melanogaster using a panel of recombinant inbred lines with unprecedented resolution allowing detection of rare alleles and/or alleles of small effect. The study confirms the role of previously identified genes of major effect and adds novel regions with minor effect to the genetic basis of Drosophila resistance to the Drosophila C virus or the sigma virus. Additional analyses reveal the absence of cross-resistance and of epistasis between the various genomic regions. This detailed information on the genetic architecture of host resistance constitutes an important step towards the understanding of both the physiology of antiviral immunity and the evolution of host-parasite interactions.