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Environmental Science and Engineering Seminar

Wednesday, January 17, 2024
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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South Mudd 365
(Re)defining the roles of phage in microbiomes
Karthik Anantharaman, University of Wisconsin-Madison,

Viruses that infect microbes (typically referred to as bacteriophages, or phages) are amongst the most abundant biological entities in all ecosystems. By infecting and lysing microbial populations, phages can affect community composition and function which can directly impact ecosystems, biogeochemistry, and human health and disease. Increasing use of sequencing approaches such as metagenomics has allowed the generation of massive quantities of ‘viral dark matter' from microbiomes, which refers to viruses, viral genomes, and proteins which are poorly characterized.

In this talk, I will present novel techniques developed in our laboratory to characterize phage ecology in microbiomes from genomic data. Our approaches allow for the study of phage at multiple resolutions and enable prediction of phage-microbe metabolic interactions at the scale of entire communities in human and environmental systems. Overall, these approaches have diverse applications ranging from engineering viruses, microbiomes, and ecosystems, to phage therapy.

For more information, please contact Bronagh Glaser by email at [email protected] or visit Environmental Science and Engineering.