Pathology



The Centre for Systems Genomics is holding a 1-day symposium on metagenomics and microbiome research, Tuesday November 17 at Bio21. 

Interested in presenting? Register now! and complete the abstract section.

This free event will feature talks on a range of microbiome-related topics including new computational and lab methods, covering a range of application areas including the human microbiome in health and disease, environmental metagenomics, ecology, agriculture and ancient DNA.

Event Date: 
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 18:15 - 18:30
Institution: 
UWS
Title: 

How to dismantle a “Trichy” parasite: Deciphering the role Tritrichomonas foetus membrane and secreted proteins play at the host-parasite interface.

Abstract: 

 
Tritrichomonas foetus is a potent veterinary pathogen, causing bovine and feline trichomoniasis. While T. foetus is well know as a venereal pathogen of cattle, it has only recently been discovered as a pathogen of cats in which it causes chronic diarrhea. T. foetus imposes significant economic losses on the beef and dairy industries worldwide. Nonetheless, despite its prevalence, T. foetus is neglected relative to other parasites of veterinary concern. There is currently no effective treatment or vaccine and prevention of infection in cattle and relies on culling infected animals. Chemotherapy in cats is limited and, depending on the country, is either not recommended or prohibited due to limited efficacy and toxicity. These extracellular parasites secrete a range of molecules that aid in tissue destruction, nutrient acquisition and immune-evasion. Proteins expressed at the host-parasite interface (i.e. secreted and membrane proteins) are critical to promoting parasite development and survival. Our central hypothesis is that these key molecules, which mediate infections caused by T. foetus, present a target for the rational design of future treatment and control strategies.

Metagenomics has been a hot topic at JAMS in 2011. Playing to this popular theme, Thomas Jeffries of the University of Technology, Sydney opened the final meeting for the year with his metagenomic analysis of taxonomic and functional patterns in South Australia's hypersaline Coorong Lagoon. Thomas and colleagues found shifts in the abundance of cyanobacteria and Archaea linked to a salinity and nutrient gradient along the lagoon, as well as a shift in the abundance of genes related to salinity tolerance and photosynthesis. Surprisingly, despite the extreme range of environmental factors within Coorong, they found these patterns were dwarfed when the lagoon samples were placed in a global context, which showed substrate - in this case, solid or fluid - had a greater influence on taxonomic profiles. Thomas's work shows the importance of scale in the relationship between a microbial community and its environment.

Event Date: 
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 18:00 - 18:15
Institution: 
University of Technology Sydney
Title: 

Metagenomic insights into microbial community control: From the global to the microscale.

Abstract: 

The recent application of next-generation DNA sequencing tools has provided a wealth of new information about the diversity of microbial life, however the ecological factors which determine spatial patterns in prokaryotic gene abundance remain elusive. Using metagenomics and high-throughput sequencing of taxonomic marker genes, we have demonstrated shifts in microbial taxonomy and function along a salinity and nutrient gradient in the Coorong lagoon, South Australia. Functionally, genes showing the greatest response to physiochemical variability are related to salinity tolerance and photosynthesis. Taxonomically, Cyanobacteria and Archaea showed the greatest shifts in abundance along the gradient. Despite this variability however, the overall signature of metagenomic profiles remained remarkably conserved between sampling sites, and when compared to metagenomes from diverse habitats clustered with diverse sediment and soil habitats, regardless of salinity. This data indicates that the substrate type of the sample, fluid or porous, is a fundamental determinant of patterns in microbial community function globally, regardless of local chemical conditions. Whilst microbial community structure is determined on varying global and local scales, as demonstrated by the above data, the behaviour of microorganisms is determined on the microscale, with individual cells responding to gradients in specific nutrients in a patchy ecosystem. Using novel in situ sampling devices, and next-generation DNA sequencing techniques, our future work will focus on describing the microscale interactions between cells and nutrients in the ocean and how this relationship relates to ocean scale biogeochemical processes within the Carbon, Nitrogen and Sulfur cycles.

Event Date: 
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 19:15 - 20:00
Institution: 
University of California-Davis
Title: 

Gene flow and speciation in populations of bacteria and archaea from a genomic perspective.

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