Harnessing the Hologenome for our Sustainable Future

    An online webinar open to all

    Thursday 24th June, 3pm CEST

    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.

    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 will discuss 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 will 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

    Seaweeds (macroalgae) have global economic significance to several industries, importantly to cosmetics, food, and biofuels. As marine aquaculture of macroalgae expands, biologists are working to domesticate macroalgae species by applying techniques tested in agriculture to wild macroalgae species. “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 will 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 will here (i) demonstrate that how the urban space is defined can affect the outcomes of studies investigating animal-microbe symbiosis. I will further (ii) report how distinct environmental dimensions of the urban space covary with the community composition of avian early-life microbiota. Finally, I will (iii) outline further work that would strengthen our understanding of gut microbiome variation in the urban space.

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