February 8 2011

10:00 1601 MSB

This seminar is sponsored by The Departments of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics

Edward Ned Ruby
Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Keeping the love alive: mechanisms of initiation and persistence in an animal-microbe symbiosis


The increased recognition among biologists of the importance of beneficial microbial associations is changing our understanding of the basis for both health and disease. Efforts to describe the mechanisms that underlie these symbiotic relationships, and their impact on the evolution, behavior, physiology and developmental biology of the partners, have provided new challenges to macro- and microbiologists alike. For instance, the discovery of hundreds of species of bacteria in the human microbiome creates the need to describe these relationships at not only the molecular level, but also the population and community levels. The complex microbial symbioses characteristic of vertebrates are daunting, and have helped focus attention on the study of invertebrate models with natural associations of only one or a few bacterial species. One such model is that between a luminous bacterium and its sepiolid squid host. My lab studies this symbiosis to uncover basic metabolic and ecological principles that can serve as guideposts in the examination of more complex association.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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