African swine fever virus (ASFV) is a highly contagious, devastating disease in pigs. In one of the few facilities allowed to work on the virus in the U.S., Professor Gerald Shurson (Animal Science) and MSI PI Declan Schroeder (associate professor, Veterinary Population Medicine) led the research team that compared ASFV and a surrogate virus, Emiliania huxleyi (EhV). EhV, which only affects one species of marine algae and poses no threat otherwise, has similar characteristics to ASFV and is much safer to use in studies. This is a breakthrough in developing methods to control the virus and keep it out of the country.
A story about this project appears on the University of Minnesota News website: U of M researchers lead major breakthrough to combat African swine fever.
Professor Schroeder uses MSI for research using molecular biology tools in the areas of virology, biodiversity, pathology, and genomics - including the use of genome annotation and genomic technologies to study key biological processes.