ERATO Evolving Symbiosis Project International Seminar Series #28

Dr. Brian Trevelline (Kent State University, USA)
“Microbiome-mediated phenotypes in wild vertebrates”

Abstract: Animals evolved in a microbial world, and today nearly every lineage of animal engages in symbioses with microorganisms. Previous work has shown that microbial communities of the vertebrate digestive tract – known as the gut microbiome – can profoundly influence host phenotypes. However, the vast majority of this research has been conducted in model organisms and in the context of human health. As a result, there is a significant gap in our understanding of how the microbiome affects wild vertebrate phenotypes, which may have major implications for host ecology and evolution. In this seminar, I will present my work studying how the gut microbiome influences the foraging behavior of wild rodents and the physiology of migratory birds. I will also provide details about a new germ-free experimental system that I have developed for studying microbiome-mediated phenotypes in non-model oviparous vertebrates, and will share some exciting results showing that the microbiome shapes digestive and immune phenotypes in neonate songbirds.

ERATO Evolving Symbiosis Project International Seminar Series #28
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