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Nicholas J. Shikuma: Elucidating the Mechanisms of Bacteria-Stimulated Animal Metamorphosis

Nov 21, 2022
Join our invitational seminar!

Monday, November 21, 2022
in the new MPI lecture hall 4012 at 3:00 p.m. (15:00 Uhr) (Don´t forget to bring a mask!!!)

Nicholas J. Shikuma (Department of Biology, San Diego State University, USA)

will give a seminar with the title:

"Elucidating the Mechanisms of Bacteria-Stimulated Animal Metamorphosis"

You are welcome to join.

Lecture hall
Lecture hall

Elucidating the Mechanisms of Bacteria-Stimulated Animal Metamorphosis

A currently enigmatic symbiosis in the ocean is the stimulation of animal metamorphosis by bacteria; a phenomenon that seeds new animals to establish or maintain benthic ecosystems. During these host-microbe interactions, the swimming larvae of animals such as corals and tubeworms identify a desirable location on the seafloor to undergo metamorphosis based on the presence of specific surface-bound bacteria. In this talk, I will present our discovery that bacteria produce a previously undescribed syringe-lik e structure that injects a stimulatory protein into the larvae of tubeworms, triggering metamorphosis. In response to this stimulatory protein, the developmental program of tubeworm metamorphosis is mediated by conserved signaling systems including Protein Kinase C and two newly identified Nuclear Hormone Receptors. Additionally, I will discuss our current effort to employ synthetic biology tools in marine bacteria to study biochemically different bacterial products that stimulate animal metamorphosis. Our research has led to a previously undescribed mechanism of bacteria-stimulated animal development and provides an example of the power of fundamental research as an engine for scientific discovery.

To join the seminar online, please use the following link:


For further information, please get in touch!

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