Dr Grant Hughes

Senior Lecturer and Wolfson Fellow

Grant’s PhD research at The University of Queensland focused on developing a symbiotic control strategy of an agricultural disease caused by a viral pathogen transmitted by Planthoppers. To further his expertise in the vector biology and symbiosis fields he undertook a Postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and then a Research Associate position at Penn State University where he examined the interactions between Wolbachia, a common bacterial endosymbiont of insects, other microbiota, and Plasmodium parasites in Anopheles mosquitoes. In 2015, Grant joined the Department of Pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch as an Assistant Professor and focused on examining interactions between the microbiome and arboviruses in Aedes mosquitoes. Grant joined the Departments of Vector Biology and Tropical Disease Biology at LSTM in 2018 where his group works on arboviruses and microbes of mosquitoes.

Research interests

Research in the Hughes lab centres around host-microbe interactions within mosquitoes and understanding the molecular basis for these interactions. Specifically, we are interested in the following topics.

• Examining the tripartite interactions between mosquitoes, their microbiome and the pathogens they transmit.
• Characterising transmission routes of gut associated microbes within mosquitoes.
• Developing new tools for manipulating microbiota and identifying mosquito phenotypes influenced by the microbiome and the genetics that mediate these interactions.
• Exploiting gut associated microbes to deliver molecules to interfere with pathogen transmission in mosquitoes.
• Developing novel tools to engineer mosquitoes.
• Exploiting genetics approaches to render mosquitoes incapable of transmitting pathogens to humans.

Lab Personnel.

If you are interested in joining the lab, please email Grant.

Dr Shivanand Hegde, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Dr Ian Patterson, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Dr Emily Hornett, Bioinformatician

Enyia Anderson, Research Technician

Lab funding.

Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship. Exploiting the mosquito microbiome for novel mosquito control strategies. (PI). 2018-2020. RSWF\R1\180013.
National Institute of Health - Exploiting gnotobiotic systems to examine microbiota acquisition in mosquitoes and for microbiome transplantations (PI). 2018-2020. R21AI138074.
National Institute of Health - Microbial interplay between Zika virus and the native microbiome in mosquitoes (PI) 2017-2019. 1R21AI129507.
National Institute of Health - Bacterial Delivery of RNAi and CRISPRs for Modulation of Mosquito Transcription. (PI). 2016-2018. 1R21AI124452.

Selected publications

  • Lab publications

    Jeffries CL, Lawrence GG, Golovko G, Kristan M, Orsborne J, Spence K, Hurn E, Bandibabone J, Tantely ML, Raharimalala FN, Keita K, Camara D, Barry Y, Wat’senga F, Manzambi EZ, Afrane YA, Mohammed AR, Abeku TA, Hegde S, Khanipov K, Pimenova M, Fofanov Y, Boyer S, Irish SR, Hughes GL, Walker T. (2018) Novel Wolbachia strains in Anopheles malaria vectors from Sub-Saharan Africa. Wellcome Open Research 3: 113.

    Hegde S, Khanipov K, Albayrak L, Pimenova M, Saldaña MA, Rojas MA, Hornett EA, Motl CM, Fredregill CL, Dennett JA, Debboun M, Fofanov Y, Hughes GL (2018) Microbial co-occurrence networks and microbiome community structure from lab-reared and field-collected mosquito vectors Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, and Culex quinquefasciatus. Frontiers in Microbiology. 9:2160.

    Chaverra-Rodriguez D¶, Macias VM¶, Hughes GL¶, Pujhari S, Suzuki Y, Peterson DR, Kim D, Rasgon JL (2018) Targeted delivery of CRISPR-associated endonuclease (Cas9) into arthropod ovaries for heritable germline gene editing. Nature Communications. 9(1): 3008. ¶Equal contribution.

    Bhadra S, Riedel TE, Saldaña MA, Hegde S, Pederson N, Hughes GL, Ellington AD (2018) Direct nucleic acid analysis of mosquitoes for high fidelity species identification and detection of Wolbachia using a cell phone. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 12(8): e0006671.

    Ly P, Aizenberg A, Martin T, Sánchez Lopez M, Saldaña MA, Hughes GL, Cabada MM (2018) Intestinal Myiasis caused by Sarcophaga sp. in Cusco - Peru: A Case Report and Review of the Literature. Case Reports in Infectious Disease. Article ID 3685439.

    Hegde S, Hughes GL (2017) Population modification of Anopheles mosquitoes for malaria control: Pathways to implementation. Pathogens and Global Health. DOI: 10.1080/20477724.2017.1453590 .

    Etebari K, Hedge S, Saldaña MA, Widen SG, Wood TG, Thangamani S, Asgari S, Hughes GL. (2017) Global transcriptome analysis of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in response to Zika virus infection. mSphere. 6 (2): 300456-17.

    Chrostek E, Pelz-Stelinski K, Hurst GDD, Hughes GL. (2017) Horizontal transmission of intracellular insect symbionts via plants. Frontiers in Microbiology. 8: 2237.
    Saldaña MA, Etebari K, Hart CE, Widen SG, Wood TG, Thangamani S, Asgari S, Hughes GL. (2017) Zika virus alters the microRNA expression profile and elicits an RNAi response in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 11(7):e0005760.

    Saldaña MA, Hegde S, Hughes GL. (2017) Microbial control of arthropod-borne disease. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. 112(2): 81-93. Invited Review.

    Hughes GL¶, Garay JR¶, Koundal V, Rasgon JL, Mwangi MM. (2016) Genome Sequence of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia strain SmAs1 isolated from the Asian Malaria Mosquito Anopheles stephensi Genome announcements. 4 (2) e00086-16. ¶Equal contribution.

    Hughes GL¶, Garay JR¶, Koundal V, Rasgon JL, Mwangi MM. (2016) Genome Sequences of Staphylococcus hominis strains ShAs1, ShAs2 and ShAs3 isolated from the Asian Malaria Mosquito Anopheles stephensi. Genome announcements. 4 (2) e00085-16. ¶Equal contribution.

    Garay JR¶, Hughes GL¶, Koundal V, Rasgon JL, Mwangi MM. (2016) Genome Sequence of Elizabethkingia anophelis Strain EaAs1 Isolated from the Asian Malaria Mosquito Anopheles stephensi Genome announcements 4 (2) e00084-16. ¶Equal contribution.

    Hedge S, Rasgon JL, Hughes GL (2015) The microbiome modulates arbovirus transmission in mosquitoes. Current Opinions in Virology. 15:97-102. Invited Review.

    Hughes GL, Dodson BL, Johnson RM, Murdock CC, Tsujimoto H, Suzuki Y, Patt AA, Cui L, Nossa CW, Barry RM, Sakamoto JM, Hornett EA, Rasgon JL. (2014) Native microbiome impedes vertical transmission of Wolbachia in Anopheles mosquitoes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 111 (34): 12498-12503.

    Hughes GL, Rivero A, Rasgon JL (2014) Wolbachia can enhance Plasmodium infection in mosquitoes: Implications for malaria control? PLoS Pathogens. 10(9): e1004182.

    Ren X¶, Hughes GL¶, Niu G, Suzuki Y, Rasgon JL. (2014) Anopheles gambiae densovirus (AgDNV) has negligible affects on adult survival and transcriptome of its mosquito host. PeerJ. 2:e584. ¶Equal contribution.

    Dodson BL, Hughes GL, Paul O, Matacchiero AC, Kramer LD, Rasgon RL. (2014) Wolbachia enhances West Nile virus (WNV) infections in the mosquito Culex tarsalis. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 8(7):e2965.

    Suzuki Y, Nui G, Hughes GL, Rasgon JL. (2014) Densoviral vector-based gene over-expression system for the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. Scientific Reports. 4: 5127.

    Hughes GL, Samuels SK, Shaikh K, Rasgon JL, Vardo-Zalik AM (2014). Discrimination of the Plasmodium mexicanum vectors Lutzomyia stewarti and Lutzomyia vexator using a PCR-RFLP assay and Wolbachia infection. Journal of Vector Ecology. 39 (1): 224-227.

    Hughes GL, Rasgon JL. (2014) Transinfection: a tool to examine Wolbachia biology and control arthropod-borne disease. Insect Molecular Biology. 23(2):141-151. Invited Review.

    Murdock CC, Blanford S, Hughes GL, Rasgon JL, Thomas MB (2014) Temperature alters malaria transmission blocking by Wolbachia. Scientific Reports. 4: 3932.

    Bourtzis K, Dobson SL, Xi Z, Rasgon JL, Calvitti M, Moreira LA, Bossin H, Moretti R, Baton LA, Hughes GL, Mavingui P, Gilles J. (2014) Harnessing mosquito-Wolbachia symbiosis for vector and disease control. Acta Tropica. 132:S150-160

    Hughes GL, Xue P, Vega-Rodriguez J, Rasgon, JL. (2012) Wolbachia strain wAlbB enhances infection by the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 78 (5): 1491-1495.

    Hughes GL¶, Pike AD¶, Xue P, Rasgon JL. (2012) Use of an ex vivo organ culture system to investigate the invasion of Wolbachia into Anopheles and other insect germlines. PLoS ONE. 7(4): e36277. ¶ Equal contribution.

    Hughes GL, Rasgon JL (2012). Wolbachia infections in arthropod hosts. In Insect Pathology and Microbial Pest Control. 2nd Edition. (eds) Kaya HK, Vega FE. New York, Elsevier.

    Hughes GL, Koga R, Xue P, Fukatsu T, Rasgon JL. (2011) Wolbachia infections are virulent and inhibit the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in Anopheles gambiae. PLoS Pathogens. 7 (2) e1002043. (May 2011 issue Cover Article).

    Hughes GL, Ren X, Ramirez J, Sakamoto JM, Bailey JA, Jedlicka J.A, Rasgon JL. (2011) Wolbachia infections in Anopheles gambiae cells: transcriptomic characterization of a novel host-symbiont interaction. PLoS Pathogens. 7 (2) e1001296.

    Hughes GL, Allsopp PG, Brumbley SM, Woolfit M, McGraw EA, O’Neill SL (2011) Variable infection frequency and high diversity of multiple strains of Wolbachia pipientis in Perkinsiella planthoppers. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 77 (6): 2165–2168.

    Hughes GL, Allsopp PG, Webb RI, Yamada, R, Iturbe-Ormaetxe I, Brumbley SM, O’Neill SL (2011) Identification of yeast associated with the planthopper, Perkinsiella saccharicida: potential applications for Fiji Leaf Gall control. Current Microbiology. 63 (4): 392-401.

    McMeniman CJ, Hughes GL, O’Neill SL (2011). A Wolbachia symbiont in Aedes aegypti disrupts mosquito egg development to a greater extent when mosquitoes feed on nonhuman versus human blood. Journal of Medical Entomology. 48: 76-84.

    Hughes GL, Allsopp PG, Brumbley SM, Johnson KN, O’Neill SL (2008) In vitro rearing of Perkinsiella saccharicida and the use of leaf segments to assay Fiji disease virus transmission. Phytopathology. 98: 810-814.

    Jones CM, Nagel L, Hughes GL, Cribb TH, Grutter AS (2007) Host specificity of two species of Gnathia (Isopoda) determined by DNA sequencing blood meals. International Journal for Parasitology. 37: 927-935.