ERATO Evolving Symbiosis Project International Seminar Series #20

Prof. Colin Dale (The University of Utah, USA)
“Utilizing Sodalis-allied symbionts to probe evolutionary and molecular questions in symbiosis”

Abstract:Bacteria allied to the genus Sodalis have been identified in a wide range of insect taxa, indicating that they have a general propensity to form mutualistic alliances that persist over macroevolutionary time. Free-living representatives of the genus have also been identified from human wounds and environmental samples, providing an opportunity to examine the important lifestyle transition that results in obligate host-association. My lab focuses on utilizing this genus of bacteria to (i) understand the causes and consequences of genome degeneration and (ii) to explore the molecular basis of symbiotic interactions. In this talk, I will focus on the use of microbial genetic approaches to interrogate the symbiotic interface, revealing that insect symbionts utilize many of the same molecular tactics as pathogenic bacteria to initiate and maintain infection inside hosts. I will also explain the establishment, characterization and utility of a synthetic symbiosis comprising grain weevils and Sodalis praecaptivus that will serve as an experimental platform to explore the evolution of mutualistic functions and the underpinnings of transovarial bacterial transmission.

ERATO Evolving Symbiosis Project International Seminar Series #20
Sponsored by ERATO FUKATSU Evolving Symbiosis Project

Co-sponsored by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas "Post-Koch Ecology”

Co-sponsored by Microbiology Research Center for Sustainability (MiCS), University of Tsukuba