My research is primarily focused on termites and their fungal pathogens, symbionts
and competitors. Termites live in large, crowded colonies, which can make them vulnerable
to the rapid spread of disease. However, termites have a number of strategies for
coping with pathogens including a front line defense of secreted antibiotics (small
peptides and enzymes). We are also investigating whether elements of this defense
system are important for competition with fungi that feed on shared food sources such
as decaying wood.
Denier, D. and M. S. Bulmer. 2015. Variation in subterranean termite susceptibility
to fatal infections by local Metarhizium soil isolates. Insectes Soc. 62: 219-226
Rosengaus, R. B., K. F. Schultheis, A. Yalonetskaya, M. S. Bulmer, W. S. DuComb, R.
W. Benson, J. P. Thottam and V. Godoy-Carter. 2014. Symbiont-derived β-1, 3-glucanases
in a social insect: mutualism beyond nutrition. Front. Microbiol. 5: 607.
Bulmer, M. S., D. Denier, J. Velenovsky and C. Hamilton. 2012. A common antifungal
defense strategy in Cryptocercus woodroaches and termites. Insectes Soc. 59: 469-478.
Hamilton, C. and M. S. Bulmer. 2012. Molecular antifungal defenses in subterranean
termites: RNA interference reveals in vivo roles of termicins and GNBPs against a
naturally encountered pathogen. Dev. Comp. Immunol. 36: 372-377.
Hamilton, C., F. Lay and M. S. Bulmer. 2012. Subterranean termite prophylactic secretions
and external antifungal defenses. J. Insect Physiol. 57: 1259-1266.
Bulmer, M. S., F. Lay and C. Hamilton. 2010. Adaptive evolution in subterranean termite
antifungal peptides. Insect Mol. Biol. 19:669-674.
(pdf files available at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mark_Bulmer/publications)
Principles of Genetics, Animal Behavior, Animal Social Evolution (graduate)