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Dissecting insect-microbe interactions with innovative functional genomic approaches

Allison Hansen

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
  2:30–3:30 p.m.

Location: Genomics Building 1102A
  Parking Information

Category: Seminar


When an organism symbiotically lives inside another organism’s cells its own cellular metabolic processes often become integrated with its hosts'. Similar to the regulation of organelles, there is growing evidence for simultaneous inter-domain crosstalk between host cells and microbial endosymbionts. This crosstalk is essential to orchestrate the metabolic needs of both players in the symbiosis. One of the clearest examples of these metabolic integration events can be found within intracellular insect-microbe symbioses. However, the mechanisms that the host and microbial cells use to regulate, respond to, and control this integrated metabolism are still largely unexplored. In consequence, my laboratory is interested in: 1) Determining how microbes affect eukaryotic metabolisms, and how their individual metabolisms mechanistically interact with one another, and 2) Identifying which insect/microbe genes are responsible for producing the extended insect host phenotype. Here, I will present recent results on how insect host-plant diet influences the regulation of nutritional insect symbioses via putative epigenetic mechanisms. Moreover, I will present results on the importance of small RNA gene regulation in nutritional endosymbionts during insect lifestage development. In sum, these results on both insect and microbe gene regulation expand our current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms that underpin inter-domain crosstalk between an insect host and its microbial symbiont.     

Open to: Faculty/Staff Only
Admission: Free
Sponsor: Entomology Department

Contact Information:
Dr. Richard Redak