Ecology and evolution of obligate phytophagous mites

The host plant is the most important factor determinig the survival and development of obligate phytophagous organisms, such as eriophyoid mites. Understanding relationships between herbivores and their host plants is crucial for explaining the mechanisms of host specialization and the evolution of herbivore life-history traits. In our research, using experimental and molecular methods, we are exploring questions regarding the evolution of eriophyoid mite species complexes, especially those associated with cereals and other grasses. Currently, we are focusing on mechanisms of dispersal and their effects on the invasion potential of eriophyoid genotypes of interest.


A bidirectional selection experiment to test the evolution of specialization and dispersal in the invasive wheat curl mite, Aceria tosichella

Funding: National Science Centre grant no. 2016/21/B/NZ8/00786

PI: Anna Skoracka

Co-investigators: Sara Magalhães, Lechosław Kuczyński, Mariusz Lewandowski, Jacek Radwan, Alicja Laska, Agnieszka Kiedrowicz, Kamila Karpicka-Ignatowska, Anna Radwańska, Jarek Raubic, Ewa Puchalska

Duration: 2017 – 2020

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Dispersal strategies in eriophyoid mites

PI: Agnieszka Majer

Co-investigators: Anna Skoracka (supervisor)

Duration: 2014 – present

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Evolution of dispersal-dependent phenotypic traits in phytophagous mites

PI: Alicja Laska

Co-investigators: Anna Skoracka (supervisor)

Duration: 2016 – present

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Spatial distribution of Aceria tosichella biotypes differing in their host specificity and invasive potential

PI: Anna Skoracka

Co-investigators: Lechosław Kuczyński, Mariusz Lewandowski, Wiktoria Szydło

Duration: 2012-2016

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Genetic variation, host specialization and ability to transmit wheat streak mosaic virus of the wheat curl mite

Funding: National Science Centre, Poland, grant no.2011/01/N/NZ8/04540

PI: Wiktoria Szydło

Co-investigators: Anna Skoracka (supervision)

Duration: 2011 – 2014

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Developmental time of wheat curl mite

PI: Kamila Karpicka-Ignatowska

Co-investigators: Anna Skoracka (supervisor), Alicja Laska, Lechosław Kuczyński

Duration: 2016-1018

More info: project page