Light-emitting Bacteria and Their Hawaiian Bobtail Squid Hosts

For December 18, 2019                Please share this with your friends
Hi WN@TL Fans,

In the bleak mid-winter, in these the shortest days of the year, our appreciation of the light glows brightest.

As it is on land, so it is in the seas. The residents of the shallows & of the deep must deal with shifting patterns of sunshine, moonlight and starlight.
One way some microbes deal with the dark is to make their own light.
Some free-living microbes give light all on their own. 
Other light-makers live in other critters, such as anglerfish or squid, to share their shine. Thus, a duo of mollusk & microbes might make light to communicate, to navigate, to lure, to deceive, to camouflage, to startle, to entrap, or to escape.

The bioluminescent bacterium Vibrio fischeri goes a step further & even triggers the development of a specific organ in the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid.

This week (December 18) Prof Mark Mandel of Medical Microbiology & Immunology will be here to help us look into how Vibrio and squid have become a model for studying the interplay between symbiotic species.
Here’s how he describes his talk, entitled “Bacteria in Bobtails Glow:  Light-emitting Vibrio & Their Bobtail Squid Hosts”:  
“There is an increasing appreciation that microbes perform beneficial functions for animals and humans. Studying how these critical associations form has been advanced by studies in model organisms. The Hawaiian bobtail squid has a specific luminescent bacterial partner that helps to camouflage the squid host. We will discuss how this partnership forms to understand more about beneficial microbes and their animal hosts partner up in specific ways.”
About the Speaker:

Mark Mandel, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department Medical Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Mandel earned his PhD in Molecular Biology at Princeton University and conducted postdoctoral training at University of Wisconsin—Madison with Dr. Ned Ruby
He started his independent laboratory at Northwestern University, then moved the group to Madison in 2017. Dr. Mandel’s research program combines bacterial genetics and comparative genomics to discover bacterial factors that are required for specific animal colonization.


Next week is December 25.  After a talk about the light, we’ll go dark for both Christmas and New Year’s.  
We’ll be back on January 8, as usual.
Hope to see you this week at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab!
Tom Zinnen
Biotechnology Center & Division of Extension

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