Transfer RNA (tRNA) is crucial for protein synthesis, constituting the adaptor molecule between messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein (Hopper & Phizicky, 2003). Despite its critical function, we still lack key knowledge into the exact mechanisms how tRNA interacts with mRNA and, in particular, the role of chemical RNA modification. A mature tRNA molecule contains numerous chemical modifications of RNA nucleosides (Machnicka et al., 2013), many of which are conserved across broad phylogenetic boundaries (Helm, 2006). These modifications regulate several aspects of translation and affect a wide variety of physiological properties, including temperature tolerance and pathogenicity (Sarin & Leidel, 2014).

The aim of our research is to understand how tRNA modifications in host organisms and microbial pathogens are affected at different stages of infection, and how these changes manifest in translation.