Current Research

Signal relay through koreenceine in THOR microbial community interactions

To better understand how microbial communities affect their habitats, it is important to decipher the molecular crosstalk mediating microbial interactions. However, the complexity of microbial communities makes it difficult to dissect interspecies signal integration and shed light on community properties. For this reason, I study the model microbial community THOR, a genetically tractable system that is composed of Bacillus cereus, Pseudomonas koreensis, and Flavobacterium johnsoniae. My project focuses on the role of the secondary metabolite koreenceine, produced by P. koreensis, in microbial interactions required for community assembly and function in THOR. I will dissect the effects of the community on regulation of koreenceine production and the effect of koreenceine in community assembly and function. This work will shed light on the role of small molecules as microbial signals and on the assembly and function of complex communities.