Our lab is interested in symbioses between bacteria and their eukaryotic hosts. Currently we are focused on three areas:
•Signal transduction in Sinorhizobium meliloti, a bacterium that fixes nitrogen inside root nodules of its host plant
•How the carbon storage compound polyhydroxybutyrate influences the physiology and gene expression of Sinorhizobium meliloti
•The complex symbioses between termites, protists and bacteria that allow these insects to turn wood into fuel
Our approaches to these problems make use of genetics, molecular biology, microfluidics and microscopy/image analysis. In addition we have been developing tools and techniques that let us use bacteria as biosensors in complex environments such as soil and the rhizosphere.
These are described in a bit more detail on the research page. Links to papers can be found on the publications page.