Event News
Event News

10/04 Dr. Yi-Jyun Luo_Genomic and Cellular Approaches in Dissecting Symbiotic Cell States in Animal–Algal Endosymbiosis

(Microbial Diversity and Bioinformatics)

Time: 2021. 10. 04   Mon. 15:00 

Venue: Auditorium, 1st Floor, Interdisciplinary Research Building

Speaker: Dr. Yi-Jyun Luo
    Royal Society Newton International Fellow
    Department of Zoology , University of Oxford, UK

Title: Genomic and Cellular Approaches in Dissecting Symbiotic Cell States in Animal–Algal Endosymbiosis

Host: Dr. Sen-Lin Tang


  Animal–algal endosymbiosis is a fundamental biological interaction where a microalga lives in the animal body. This symbiotic association is widely reported in various animals, particularly for those living in marine habitats, including corals, sea anemones, sea slugs, giant clamps, and acoels. During the symbiosis, the host switches its energy source, obtaining nutrients from its symbiotic algae via photosynthesis. This process, also called photosymbiosis, requires regulatory controls of both the host and the symbiont transcriptional landscape. However, the transcriptional regulations and cellular dynamics of this animal–algal interaction are still unclear. To establish a comparative platform to study these symbiosis interactions, I propose using the acoel worm Symsagittifera roscoffensis. This acoel obtains its algal symbionts through horizontal transmission, in which the juvenile worms ingest green algal cells after the hatchling stage. This mode of symbiont acquisition is particularly advantageous for dissecting the genetic regulation at the onset of symbiosis. In this seminar, I will introduce my background in coral cell biology, developmental biology, comparative genomics, and single-cell transcriptomics. I will then show you how we can apply these interdisciplinary approaches to dissect the symbiotic regulation in animal–algal endosymbiosis. By establishing a new symbiosis model system, my proposed study will allow a mechanistic understanding of the animal–algal genomic and cellular interactions, likely providing insights into the adaptability and biodiversity of marine ecosystems and the evolution of symbiotic associations.

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