Genomic and Niche Characterization of Bacteriophages in the Microbial Communities of the Aquatic Snails
Observing the interactions between bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) and their bacteria hosts. The project utilizes genomics to observe bacteriophage abundance, important genes within bacteria for these relationships and horizontal gene transfer events.
Most multicellular organisms rely on symbiotic relationships with prokaryotes (bacteria), especially within the digestive tract, for aiding digestion and providing essential nutrients and energy. Even in the small guts of invertebrates, these bacterial communities can be robust, unique, and critical to survival. One aspect of invertebrate microbial communities that has been largely unexamined is the potential role of bacteriophage, which putatively could play a large role in regulating community composition and function. Recent research has highlighted the importance of gut bacteria in both the transmission of malaria and the immune response of the mosquito and therefore any phage that affects such bacteria are of interest.
- Research & scholarship:
- Course code: