Tim Lachnit gives CMSI Seminar at UNSW Sydney
Bacteriophages important regulators of host-microbe
homeostasis in the Hydra metaorganism
Eukaryotic organisms are associated with a host-specific bacterial community and form a complex unit termed metaorganism or holobiont. Disturbance or loss of the naturally associated bacterial community can facilitate the invasion of pathogens and lead to reduced host fitness. Controlling the bacterial community composition is essential for the stability and function of metaorganisms, but the factors contributing to the maintenance of host-specific bacterial colonization are poorly understood. For the freshwater polyp Hydra it has been shown that the eukaryotic host actively selects and shapes its specific bacterial community and that bacteria-bacteria interactions are important components contributing to the fitness of the metaorganism. In addition to these already complex interaction that regulate the homeostatic relationship between the eukaryotic host and its associated bacterial community I will demonstrate that Hydra is not only associated with a specific bacterial community, but also features a host-specific viral community of which more than 50% are bacteriophages. Due to the fact that phages are often obligate killers to their host cells and also to other bacteria, they have a strong selective effect on bacterial populations and we hypothesize that phages play an important regulatory role in the functional adaptation of metaorganism to changing environmental conditions.
- Tuesday, 16 April at 12pm
- Rountree Room, 356 Biolink