Soumi Bhattacharyya

Doctoral Researcher

Main Focus

Phd Thesis started in 2023
Molecular regulation of bacterial endosymbionts in grain pest beetles
Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Biologie
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Martin Kaltenpoth

PhD Thesis started in August 2023

Molecular mechanism of host-endosymbiont regulation in saw-toothed grain pest beetles

Supervisors - Dr Martin Kaltenpoth, Dr. Tobias Engl

Saw-toothed grain pest beetles, (Oryzaephilus surinamensis), harbor bacterial endosymbionts in specialized organs called bacteriome, that help the beetle to synthesize a very thick and robust cuticular exoskeleton and in defense against biotic and abiotic factors. However, to maintain the metabolic cost, the beetles are capable of eliminating the symbionts according to its physiological needs. I am investigating the molecular mechanism by which the host beetle regulates the symbiont population. I manipulate the diet of beetles to increase or decrease the symbiont population and understand how availability of certain metabolites can affect the symbiont population and host's phenotype. Using molecular and bioinformatics approach, I finally aim to decipher the signalling pathway used by host beetle to regulate endosymbiont population.

Curriculum Vitae

University Education

BS MS Dual Degree: Biological Sciences

Institute: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata (IISER Kolkata)

Country: India

Work Experience

  • Master thesis project - "Investigating the regulatory pathways linking an endosymbiont regulation to its host needs", Department of Insect Symbiosis, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, August 2022 - March 2023
  • Research Intern at Molecular Signaling Lab, IISER Kolkata - "Role of juxtamembrane domain of VEGFR1 in stabilizing the auto-inhibitory conformation of VEGFR1", December 2021 - May 2022
  • Research Intern at Evolutionary Biology Lab, IISER Berhampur - "Experimental evolution using Drosophila melanogaster", June 2019 - July 2019

Fellowship / Academic grant

The Jeff Schell Fellowship, Bayer Foundation

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