Workshop on plasmid biology, ecology and evolution, highlighting crucial gaps in knowledge and ways to address them.
Plasmids play a crucial role in bacterial ecology and evolution because they can transfer genes horizontally between different bacteria. The most striking example of how plasmids drive bacterial evolution is the global spread of plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance over the last few decades. Plasmids can be highly beneficial to the bacterial host under specific environmental conditions, but they also produce a physiological alteration in the host that frequently translates into a fitness cost in the absence of plasmid-specific selection. Moreover, the complex interaction networks between plasmids and their hosts are shaped by ecological and co-evolutionary processes that operate simultaneously. The last decade has witnessed a surge of interest in the eco-evolutionary dynamics of plasmid-bacteria associations, producing a great many studies on this topic. In this workshop, we will combine classes, in-depth lectures and active work on projects to explore multiple aspects of plasmid biology, ecology and evolution.
Participants will write a state-of-the art research proposal addressing major gaps in plasmid research, in groups of 3-5 students. This assignment will be graded for students who register for an academic credit.
The workshop will be led by Prof. Alvaro San Milan and is organized by Dr. Shai Pilosof and Prof. Itzik Mizrahi.
Further information and registration