Bart Bryant, Research Assistant Professor
271 Chalmers Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
Ph.D. 2009, Kansas State University. Biology.
Area(s) of Specialization
Apoptosis (Cell death) of Arthropod Vectors
Vector borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue, continue to be major health problems word wide and deserve our immediate and constant attention. A major factor in the spread of these devastating diseases is a blood feeding insect, namely the anautogenous mosquito. This type of mosquito requires a blood meal to produce eggs and complete its life cycle. This basic requirement is an important underlying mechanism behind vector borne disease transmission. The more informed we are about how the blood meal affects the physiology of the mosquito, the better we will be able to devise novel methods to block transmission of these debilitating diseases. For my career, my research has focused on the effects of blood feeding on mosquito physiology in terms of (i) reproduction and (ii) immunity by using genetics and molecular biology methods.
Currently, I am developing novel gene-therapy approaches in the malaria mosquito which is funded by an R21 from the NIH/NIAID awarded to me.
Tissue-specific RNAi by a viral delivery system: Currently, vector biologists use RNAi as a reverse genetics tool to determine molecular mechanisms for genes of interest in mosquitoes and select other species. While efficient and easily employed, a weakness of RNAi is its lack of tissue specificity. One approach to get around this barrier is the use of transgenic mosquitoes. Unfortunately, transgenic lines are cumbersome to make and maintain, and the number of well characterized tissue-specific promoters is limited. Due to the vast number of attractive genes expressed in multiple tissues, a malleable system for producing tissue specific gene knockdown would be highly beneficial to the vector biology community. To meet this need, I propose a novel method of a genetically modified virus with global tissue tropism to deliver transgenes and/or RNAi hairpins. To restrict the delivery system, endogenous miRNAs will be employed to block either virus replication or transgene expression, ultimately resulting in tissue specific gene knockdown. This proposed method will provide unique genetic tools of value to the vector biology community as a whole.
Bryant WB, Michel K. 2016. Anopheles gambiae hemocytes exhibit transient states of activation. Dev Comp Immunol 55:119-29.
Kanost MR, Arrese EL, Cao X, Chen YR, Chellapilla S, Goldsmith MR, Grosse-Wilde E, Heckel DG, Herndon N, Jiang H, Papanicolaou A, Qu J, Soulages JL, Vogel H, Walters J, Waterhouse RM, Ahn SJ, Almeida FC, An C, Aqrawi P, Bretschneider A, Bryant WB, Bucks S, Chao H, Chevignon G, Christen JM, Clarke DF, Dittmer NT, Ferguson LC, Garavelou S, Gordon KH, Gunaratna RT, Han Y, Hauser F, He Y, Heidel-Fischer H, Hirsh A, Hu Y, Jiang H, Kalra D, Klinner C, König C, Kovar C, Kroll AR, Kuwar SS, Lee SL, Lehman R, Li K, Li Z, Liang H, Lovelace S, Lu Z, Mansfield JH, McCulloch KJ, Mathew T, Morton B, Muzny DM, Neunemann D, Ongeri F, Pauchet Y, Pu LL, Pyrousis I, Rao XJ, Redding A, Roesel C, Sanchez-Gracia A, Schaack S, Shukla A, Tetreau G, Wang Y, Xiong GH, Traut W, Walsh TK, Worley KC, Wu D, Wu W, Wu YQ, Zhang X, Zou Z, Zucker H, Briscoe AD, Burmester T, Clem RJ, Feyereisen R, Grimmelikhuijzen CJ, Hamodrakas SJ, Hansson BS, Huguet E, Jermiin LS, Lan Q, Lehman HK, Lorenzen M, Merzendorfer H, Michalopoulos I, Morton DB, Muthukrishnan S, Oakeshott JG, Palmer W, Park Y, Passarelli AL, Rozas J, Schwartz LM, Smith W, Southgate A, Vilcinskas A, Vogt R, Wang P, Werren J, Yu XQ, Zhou JJ, Brown SJ, Scherer SE, Richards S, Blissard GW. 2016. Multifaceted biological insights from a draft genome sequence of the tobacco hornworm moth, Manduca sexta. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 76:118-47.
Bryant WB, Michel K. 2014. Blood feeding induces hemocyte proliferation and activation in the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae Giles. J Exp Biol 217:1238-45.
View the complete publication list in NCBI