Evolution av samarbetsförmåga hos endosymbiotiska bakterier
Tidsperiod: 2012-01-01 till 2014-12-31
Projektledare: Siv Andersson
Budget: 3 600 000 SEK
The aim of this project is to study the origin, evolution and stability of cooperative traits in endosymbiotic bacteria, such as secreted proteins and gene transfer agents. We will use recent technologies in single cell genomics to initiate population genomic surveys of how frequently cheaters arise that do not contribute to the production of the secreted compounds or gene transfer agents, and what strategies are being used to repress such selfish behavior. We will use two main model systems: Wolbachia that infect insects and Bartonella that infect humans and animals. Building on the knowledge gained from these studies, we will design and engineer synthetic endosymbionts for novel host-beneficial functions with the aid of synthetic biology principles. This work is important for hypotheses about strategies used to stabilize cooperative traits in bacterial populations as well as for the future use of endosymbionts as live vaccines and drug delivery units.