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Topics Course on Symbiotic Microbial-Host Interactions (BIO_SC 8002-01) (Spring 2013)

Nov. 16, 2012

Did you know that leaf-cutter ants cultivate a fungus to digest leaf litter? That the light organ of some squid is packed with light-producing bacteria? Or that algae promote the survival of coral in nutrient poor waters? These are just a few of the fascinating symbioses that will be explored in this course.

The 3-credit hour graduate-level course will focus on specific examples of symbiotic relationships in which both partners derive a benefit (mutualism). The course will cover mechanisms of symbiosis establishment and persistence as well as the impact of the symbiosis on the ecology and evolution of the individual partners.

There will be introductory lectures for each module, but the vast majority of the course will involve critical analyses of current literature and the techniques used to enhance our understanding of symbiotic relationships. Students will be expected to lead and contribute to in-class discussions of the primary literature.

This course will meet by arrangement with enrolled students.

For more information contact Dr. Pamela Brown (884-0214;

Related research strengths:
Cell Biology, Ecology, Molecular Biology, Plant Biology