Dr. Thomas Ogao Onchuru
Institute of Organismic and Molecular Evolution
55128 Mainz, Germany
phone: +49 - (0) 6131 - 39 25200
fax: +49 - (0) 6131 - 39 23731
- Defensive symbiosis
- Host-mutualist-pathogen interactions
- Microbial and Vector ecology
- Molecular techniques
- Fluorescence in situ hybridization
- Cell culture
Multi-partite interactions in complex host-mutualist-parasite systems
Guts of multicellular organisms are nutritionally rich making them conducive environments for microbial colonization especially by those ingested with food as well as microbes beneficial to hosts. Whereas mutualist bacteria help in food digestion, nutrient supplementation or protection against pathogens, non-beneficial microbes and parasites can be detrimental to hosts, hence a need for a well coordinated regulation by the host. Knowledge on how this regulation takes place and on the general interaction of all partners in complex systems is lagging way behind the already known and emerging benefits mutualists offer to hosts. My main areas of interest are;
- How do hosts select and maintain beneficial microbes while at the same time fighting off pathogenic microbes?
- What are the consequences of mutualistic relationships?
- Multipartite interactions in Meta-organisms
- Do mutualistic partnerships strengthen the ability of hosts to fight off intruders?
|Fig.1 African cotton stainer (Dystercus fasciatus), a model system||Fig.2 Fluoreszenz in situ Hybridisierung hybridization on a cross-section of D.fasciatus gut showing associated symbionts (pink) and parasites (green)|