ERATO Evolving Symbiosis Project International Seminar Series #22

Prof. Michele Nishiguchi (University of California Merced, USA)
“Interpreting the road map between ecological and molecular boundaries using a squid-bacterial mutualism”

Abstract: The mutualistic association between sepiolid squids (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) and their Vibrio symbionts is an experimentally tractable model to study the evolution of animal-bacterial associations through both wild-caught and experimentally evolved populations. Since Vibrio bacteria are environmentally transmitted to new hosts with every generation, it provides a unique opportunity to resolve how changing environmental conditions may effect bacterial infection, colonization, and persistence in different host species. Vibrio bacteria encounter potentially conflicting selective pressures, competing with one another to colonize the sepiolid light organ, but also vying for resources in the environment outside the squid. Both abiotic and biotic factors contribute to the fitness of individual strains of Vibrio bacteria, but which of these factors are amenable to adaptation and eventually lead to a successful beneficial association has yet to be elucidated. This seminar will cover how environmental conditions and host specificity lead to the development of symbiotically adapted Vibrio bacteria, generating new ideas on the evolution of beneficial associations.

ERATO Evolving Symbiosis Project International Seminar Series #22
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