Phd Thesis started in 2022
Evolution of molecular mechanism regulating mutualism establishment
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Christof Niehrs
Bacterial endosymbionts can suffer drastic genome reductions over evolutionary time. This often leaves them with a minimal set of genes necessary for symbiont replication and benefit provision to the host. Regulation of the provided benefits is often done by the host by controlling symbiont titers. Little is known about the importance of transcriptional regulation in such symbionts, despite the presence of certain transcription factors across symbiotic bacteria with reduced genomes. In my project, I aim at understanding the transcriptional regulatory capabilities the symbiont of the reed-beetles (Donaciinae), a symbiotic Enterobacteriaceae with a genome of 0.5 Mb. I do this by looking at changes in symbiont gene expression across host life stages and connecting them to its predicted transcription factors. Furthermore, I study how gene expression of this symbiont has changed across the Donaciinae and try to assess how host ecological niche differences may impact the gene expression of a symbiont that is genetically very similar.
BSc in Biology, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, 10.2014-07.2017
MSc in Medical Microbiology, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, 10.2017-01.2020
Academic Merit Scholarship 2018/2019 by Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Master thesis: "Functional Characterization of Putative Wolbachia Effector Proteins" at the Host Microbe Interactions group, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal
2022: Best Poster at the 10th International Symbiosis Society Congress "Symbiosis in the Anthropocene Era": Evolution of molecular mechanisms regulating mutualism establishment: small genome responding to host's needs.