SymbNET Online Seminar Series – Sara Mitri (UNIL) & Maria João Amorim (FCG-IGC)

Dear all,

On Thursday, 30th September, we will have the next session of the SymbNET Seminar Series.
Monthly online seminars on host-microbe symbiosis, genomics, and metabolomics, with two talks from SymbNET researchers.

15:00 WET / 16:00 CET

Sara Mitri (UNIL)
University of Lausanne (UNIL)
Evolutionary Ecology of Microbial Communities

Eco-evolutionary dynamics in a small bacterial community
Microbial communities in soil or the mammalian gut typically contain tens to hundreds of microbial species. These ecosystems are constantly changing, as the community first assembles and as species adapt to each other and to their environment. Because studying such dynamics in a natural system is extremely challenging, in my lab we address this question using small bacterial communities as model systems. I will first talk about a study where we show how the interactions between four bacterial species depend on their environment: the harsher the environment, the more likely it is for species to interact positively. We then ask how these interactions evolve over time, and find that interactions do not become competitive, but some positive interactions are lost depending on the ability of the species to survive alone. These results provide an intuition on how microbial species in more natural environments may adapt to one another over evolutionary time-scales.

15:30 WET / 16:30 CET

Maria João Amorim (FCG-IGC)
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC-FCG)
Cell Biology of Viral Infection Lab

New paradigms in influenza A virus research
Viruses thrive on specific hosts where they may cause disease and thus are highly relevant for ecosystems, health and agriculture. Due to the small size of their genomes, they are highly dependent and adapted to the host they infect. Many viral life cycles, including influenza A virus (IAV), form specialized compartments which promote immune evasion, and progeny virion production. My laboratory showed that upon IAV infection, specialized compartments called viral inclusions are formed in the cytosol of infected cells. These are enriched in progeny RNA and constitute sites to assemble IAV genomic complex – that is composed of 8 (and no more than 8) different RNA segments. We showed that these inclusions are membraneless and adopt the hallmarks of classical biomolecular condensates. In this seminar, I will show that IAV liquid inclusions display liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) traits whose formation is regulated by concentration and maintained by weak interactions between the components in inclusions. In addition, we provide evidence for the need to maintain IAV inclusions fluid and show that phase transitions are possible and reduce viral production.

Slots of 30 minutes to talk with the speakers will be available after the seminars. Priority will be given to students and Postdocs from SymbNET members Institutions. If you are interested, please contact Mariana Simões at

These seminars are open and free of charge. You can find more information at

If you already registered for SymbNET activities before, you will receive a link to this seminar closer to the date. If not, please register at

We are looking forward to your participation.

SymbNET – Genomics and Metabolomics in a Host-Microbe Symbiosis Network

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952537


Philip Rosenstiel (CAU) & tbc


September 30th, 2021


Zoom Meeting

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