Microbiome Spotlight

The Fight Against Citrus Greening Disease

Postdoctoral researchers, Drs. Emilyn Matsumura and Elizabeth Henry from Dr. Bryce Falk’s Lab in the Department of Plant Pathology, received funding from the USDA’s HLB Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) program, which serves to coordinate and fund research for citrus HLB interventions. Their project will focus on developing tools to target the insect that transmits HLB. Currently, HLB has no cure, and effective intervention strategies have been difficult to find, primarily because the bacteria responsible for the disease cannot be manipulated in a laboratory, which make it difficult to better understand its biology.

Graduate Student Nick Jensen Awarded The Danone North America Fellowship Grant

Nick was one of two recipients of the Danone North America Gut Microbiome, Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Grant, which awarded each recipient a $25,000 scholarship. The scholarship will help Nick pay for RNA sequencing services in order to identify the genes that Bifidobacterium strains use to grow on specific HMOs (human milk oligosaccharides). Nick Jensen is a graduate student in the Microbiology Graduate Group working in the laboratory of Professor David Mills. Nick’s research focuses on the genomic and ecological basis of carbohydrate metabolism in beneficial microbes such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. 

Coral Bleaching and Marine Probiotics: Raquel Peixoto, Ph.D.

Dr. Raquel Peixoto is a visiting associate professor from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and a research associate from the Rio de Janeiro Marine Aquarium (AquaRio) in Brazil. She also coordinates the Beneficial Microorganisms of Marine Organisms (BMMO) Network, together with Dr. Michael Sweet (University of Derby), which seeks to unify and facilitate studies on the manipulation of the microbiome associated with marine organisms. Dr. Peixoto is collaborating with Dr. Jonathan Eisen's lab at the Genome Center, focusing on improving coral health through microbiome manipulation and the use of coral probiotics.