Seminar: Dr. Brittany Belin (Carnegie Institute for Science)

You are here

Seminar: Dr. Brittany Belin (Carnegie Institute for Science)

April 12, 2023 at 12:00pm

Title: Bacterial hopanoid lipids in plant-microbe symbiosis

Speaker: Dr. Brittany Belin (Carnegie Institute for Science)

Host: Dr. Sook Chung

Abstract: Nitrogen-fixing bacteria are major contributors to the global nitrogen cycle. In agricultural settings, these organisms can serve as sustainable fertilizers of crop plants, particularly legumes such as soybeans and peanuts. These legumes engage in sophisticated symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in which bacterially-derived fixed nitrogen is exchanged for products of plant photosynthesis. We examine these symbioses through the lens of bacterial cell biology, focusing on the roles of bacterial lipids. Our recent work examines the functions of a class of steroid-like bacterial lipids known as hopanoids, which promote diverse aspects of symbiosis development. These lipids are also abundant biomarkers in the fossil record, suggesting parallels between modern plant:microbe symbiosis and ancient bacterial life on Earth.

Contact for meeting details.