Prof. Dr. Martin Kaltenpoth
Institute of Organismic and Molecular Evolution
55128 Mainz, Germany
Tel. 06131 / 39 24411
Fax 06131 / 39 23731
Symbiotic associations between insects and microbes are ubiquitous in nature and play enormously important roles for the ecology and evolution of the host organisms. I am interested in the evolution and chemical ecology as well as the molecular interactions of insect-bacteria symbioses. My overarching goals are (i) to understand the diversity of functions that can be conferred by bacterial symbionts and their impact on insect ecology, (ii) to elucidate the evolutionary origins of symbiotic associations and the factors that promote their establishment and maintenance, (iii) to investigate the physiological and genomic consequences of the symbiotic lifestyle, and (iv) to understand the mechanisms ensuring partner specificity by characterizing the molecular basis of host-symbiont interactions. To this end, I am using a combination of ecological experiments, phylogenetic reconstructions, molecular, chemical-analytical, and microbiological tools in a range of different model organisms (solitary digger wasps, firebugs, and several beetle species).