University of Southern Indiana


A fundamental aspect of biology is the prevalence of long-term associations, or symbioses, between animals and bacteria.  Knowledge is limited as to how symbiotic relationships are established between animals and their microbial symbionts, many of which benefit the animal host by providing needed metabolic products or by occupying niches which may otherwise become colonized by pathogenic organisms.  My interest is to determine how such relationships are initiated; for instance, does an attraction exist between the bacterial symbiont and host?

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