World Microbiome Day 2021 - Special theme 'Sustainability'

Harnessing the Hologenome for our Sustainable Future

From the birds to the bees to the biofuels in the seas, harnessing the power of microbiomes is becoming increasingly recognised for its potential in solving the world’s most challenging problems. In keeping with this year's World Microbiome Day theme of 'Sustainability', four UCPH-led holo-projects bring you this webinar highlighting how research of both the microbiome and the host animal, insect or plant can be used to explain the world around us with a new lens.

In this short webinar you will hear from four leading researchers about their exciting research tackling these challenges and how the microbiome can contribute. For video recordings of the talks see below.

Hosted by the Center for Evolutionary Hologenomics and co-organised by HoloFish, HoloFood, The Earth HoloGenome Initiative & FindingPheno.

Invited talks

Talk 1: The role of the hologenome in defining group-identity in social insects

Prof. Yehuda Ben-Shahar - Washington University in St. Louis, US

My webinar discusses recent findings about the role of the gut microbiome in regulating the chemosensory signalling pathways that regulate nestmate recognition in colonies of social insects. Based on recent findings in the honey bee, I offer a somewhat new perspective on how symbiotic bacteria may have shaped the evolution of insect eusociality.

Talk 2: Omics in aquaculture: exploiting metagenomics and metatranscriptomics to improve seaweed domestication

Melisa Osborne and Kelly Deweese, PhD Candidates, University of Southern California, US

“Omics” techniques have been employed with huge success in the improvement of agricultural crops, including metabolomics, which has been used to study metabolites and pathways that influence agriculturally relevant traits in crops, and metagenomics, which has improved understanding of host–symbiont interactions and the potential for microbial organisms to improve crop outcomes. We here discuss how the investigation of macroalgae metabolomes and metagenomes through a "holo-omics" lens will allow for rapid domestication with informed crossing schemes and genomic improvement strategies.

Talk 3: Trials and tribulations of the avian gut microbiota in the urban mosaic

Associate Prof. Marta Szulkin,Wild Urban Evolution & Ecology Lab, University of Warsaw

How anthropogenic and urban change impacts the gut microbiota of wild animals is still largely unknown. I here (i) demonstrate that how the urban space is defined can affect the outcomes of studies investigating animal-microbe symbiosis. I further (ii) report how distinct environmental dimensions of the urban space covary with the community composition of avian early-life microbiota. Finally, I (iii) outline further work that would strengthen our understanding of gut microbiome variation in the urban space.
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This project has received funding from the European Unionʼs Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 817729.