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Research GELIFES

GELIFES Seminars - Sara Mitri

When:Th 24-06-2021 13:00 - 14:00

Sara Mitri (University of Lausanne)

The ecology and evolution of a small bacterial ecosystem

Being able to predict the behaviour of multi-species ecosystems can be extremely useful, but is notoriously difficult, particularly over evolutionary timescales. Microbes are a good model system, as they evolve over relatively short time-scales, and because many replicate ecosystems can be cultured in parallel. My group studies a four-species bacterial community that has been used to treat liquid industrial waste. I will talk about the interactions between these species, how our findings support the stress gradient hypothesis and why a mechanistic understanding of inter-species interactions can help us predict species coexistence. I will then show the results of a year-long co-evolution experiment and discuss some hypotheses generated from this work: when species rely on others to survive, they evolve towards reduced competitiveness and smaller genomes.

Our group is interested in understanding how ecosystems of microbes evolve over time, and how they are shaped by the interactions taking place between individual microbial cells. We strongly believe in combining different research methodologies, including mathematical modeling, computer simulations and laboratory experiments.

Link to seminar