How do plant associated microbes interact and how do these interactions scale up to the ecosystem level?
This goal of these projects are to understand diversity, ubiquity, and molecular mechanisms of bacterial fungal interactions. Some of these bacteria are free living and associated with the exterior of fungal cells. Others are long term, obligate, intracellular endosymbionts that rely on host fungal resources. To answer these questions we generate and analyze whole genome sequences, amplicon barcodes, multiple -omics data sets, and physiological assays.
How are microbial genomes structured after long-term obligate symbiosis?
One way to untangle the evolutionary history of organisms in symbioses is by comparing phylogenomics of each group individually. After full genome sequencing of fungi and bacteria we use phylogentic approaches to understand the ubiquity and functional basis of these symbioses.
How can we leverage single cell time lapse microscopy to study fungal biology with extreme precision?
This project includes designing, fabricating, and using microfluidic platforms for imaging microbial interactions and behaviors. By culturing microbes in microscopic chambers appressed to glass slides we are able to dissect microbial behaviors and interactions with great precision.