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Killers and protectors: rapid microbial evolution across the mutualist-parasite continuum

Dr Kayla King, Associate Professor, Dept of Zoology, University of Oxford

A Centre for Ecology and Conservation seminar
Date30 May 2019
Time13:00 to 14:00
PlaceChapel Lecture Theatre

Dr Kayla King, Associate Professor, Dept of Zoology, University of Oxford

Many animal and plant species, and even humans, harbour microbes that provide them with protection against parasites. These ‘protective microbes’ can be a significant component of host defence. Using experimental evolution of a novel, tripartite interaction, we demonstrate that mildly pathogenic bacteria (Enterococcus faecalis) living in worms (Caenorhabditis elegans) can rapidly evolve to defend their animal hosts against infection by a more virulent pathogen (Staphylococcus aureus), crossing the parasitism-mutualism continuum. We also show the consequences for host and pathogen evolution. Our results indicate that evolution of beneficial bacteria in the host microbiome are important in shaping infection outcomes.

 


OrganizerMichiel Vos

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