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Phalanx or Traitor? Impact of Gut Microbial Communities on Insect Health

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Air date: Thursday, March 01, 2012, 3:00:00 PM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
Views: Total views: 140, (49 Live, 91 On-demand)
Category: Wednesday Afternoon Lectures
Runtime: 01:13:33
Description: Research in the Handelsman lab focuses on understanding diversity in microbial communities and the role of microbial communities in infectious disease. In particular, we are interested in understanding a gut community that serves as a source of opportunistic pathogens, and the soil microbial community as a source of new genes and proteins. To study opportunistic pathogens, we developed a model system with the normal gut microbiota in lepidopteran insects. These normally benign bacteria kill the host under certain conditions, and our work aims to determine the mechanistic basis for host death. To explore microbial diversity, we use functional metagenomics to probe genetic and biochemical diversity in microbial communities. Metagenomics circumvents culturing, thereby capturing genetic information from organisms that cannot be cultured by standard methods, which represent the majority of the microbial world. Through this approach, we have discovered novel antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes, some of which encode bifunctional proteins.

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NLM Title: Phalanx or traitor? : impact of gut microbial communities on insect health [electronic resource] / Jo Handelsman.
Series: Impact of gut microbial communities on insect health
Author: Handelsman, Jo.
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
Publisher:
Other Title(s): Impact of gut microbial communities on insect health
Abstract: (CIT): Research in the Handelsman lab focuses on understanding diversity in microbial communities and the role of microbial communities in infectious disease. In particular, we are interested in understanding a gut community that serves as a source of opportunistic pathogens, and the soil microbial community as a source of new genes and proteins. To study opportunistic pathogens, we developed a model system with the normal gut microbiota in lepidopteran insects. These normally benign bacteria kill the host under certain conditions, and our work aims to determine the mechanistic basis for host death. To explore microbial diversity, we use functional metagenomics to probe genetic and biochemical diversity in microbial communities. Metagenomics circumvents culturing, thereby capturing genetic information from organisms that cannot be cultured by standard methods, which represent the majority of the microbial world. Through this approach, we have discovered novel antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes, some of which encode bifunctional proteins.
Subjects: Gastrointestinal Tract--microbiology
Host-Pathogen Interactions
Insects--microbiology
Publication Types: Lectures
Webcasts
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Caption Text: Download Caption File
NLM Classification: QR 327
NLM ID: 101581468
CIT Live ID: 10496
Permanent link: http://videocast.nih.gov/launch.asp?17140

 

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