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12-15 August 2018
Europe/Berlin timezone

Imaging Intestinal Invasion by Vibrio cholerae, and other Stories from the Gut

15 Aug 2018, 12:15


Pfotenhauerstraße 108 01307 Dresden Germany
Short Talk Light sheet fluorescence microscopy Miscellaneous applications of light sheet microscopy


Raghuveer Parthasarathy (University of Oregon, USA)


Our digestive tracts are home to trillions of microbes that immigrate, emigrate, reproduce, and compete with one another. Little is known about the physical structure and temporal dynamics of gut microbial communities, which must necessarily influence the function not only of normal, commensal communities but also community invasion by pathogens. To address this, my lab applies light sheet fluorescence microscopy to a model system that combines a realistic in vivo environment with a high degree of experimental control: larval zebrafish with defined subsets of commensal bacterial species. I will focus here on experiments in which a native bacterial species is challenged by the invasion of a second species, specifically Vibrio cholerae, the pathogen that causes cholera. Using live imaging and genetic manipulation of Vibrio’s Type VI Secretion System (T6SS), with which the bacterium stabs adjacent cells, we have found that Vibrio cholerae can displace resident bacteria through a surprising ability to induce strong mechanical contractions of the host gut [S. L. Logan, J. Thomas, J. Yan, R. P. Baker, D. S. Shields, J. B. Xavier, B. K. Hammer, and R. Parthasarathy. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 115: E3779-E3787 (2018)]. This suggests not only previously unknown mechanisms for bacterial manipulation of animal physiology, but also potential paths for microbiome engineering. I will also describe other experiments in which the spatial and temporal dynamics of gut microbes are key determinants of responses to such challenges as antibiotic perturbation and inhibition of motility.

Affiliation The University of Oregon
Terms and Conditions Yes

Primary author

Raghuveer Parthasarathy (University of Oregon, USA)

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