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Screening for ecogenomic signatures of phage-bacteria interactions in natural microbiomes exposed to environmental disturbances

Grant number: 19/24097-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): February 24, 2020
Effective date (End): February 23, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:João Carlos Setubal
Grantee:Lucas Palma Perez Braga
Supervisor abroad: Andrew Joseph Tanentzap
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Cambridge, England  
Associated to the scholarship:18/19247-0 - Unraveling the role of phages on the evolution of plant beneficial and pathogenic rhizobacteria, BP.PD


Phages, the viruses of bacteria, are capable of establishing either antagonistic or mutualistic interactions with their hosts. Evidence so far clearly demonstrates the importance of phages for microbiome functioning. However little is known about how phage-bacteria interactions at the community-level respond to environmental changes. Environmental disturbances can change microbial community diversity and functioning. Therefore, the present work aims to investigate the effects of disturbances on the balance of phage-bacteria interactions, characterize ecogenomic signatures of phage-bacteria interactions, and determine the eco-evolutionary consequences to the microbiome. To address these aims, we will apply advanced computational methods to recover genomes of bacteria and phages from large metagenomic datasets obtained from microbiomes exposed to disturbances, and will complement our understanding with microcosm experiments. The genomic data will be related to ecosystem-level measures, such as bacterial productivity, greenhouse gas emissions, and molecular fingerprinting of dissolved organic matter. With the present study we expect to discover novel mechanisms governing microbial resources and dynamics of biogeochemical cycles, as well as improve our predictability over the evolution of microbial traits in natural systems exposed to disturbances. (AU)