EEB events: Special seminar: The evolution of diversity in the Medicago truncatula-Sinorhizobium symbiosis: Dr. Maren Friesen, University of Southern California
Maren L. Friesen, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Molecular and Computational Biology, University of Southern California
Biological diversity is fundamental to ecosystem functions and services. Adaptive diversity evolves because of organismal trade-offs, which originate in the structure of genetic and physiological pathways and play out in ecological interactions. I present work in Medicago truncatula that integrates field, greenhouse, and genomic approaches to understand local adaptation to saline soils in Tunisia, including the potential for interactions with symbiotic Sinorhizobium bacteria to influence salt tolerance. Fitness conflicts between legumes and rhizobium symbionts may generate trade-offs that lead to symbiont diversification. Rhizobia are only one of many microbes with the potential to impact plant performance and my future research program will characterize the ‘invisible majority’ of plant-associated microbial communities. By explicitly connecting the molecular basis of species interactions with fitness conflict and trade-offs, my research aims to generate predictive evolutionary ecological models grounded in genomic data.
Coffee and cookies will be served at 4 p.m.
Location: 1200 Chemistry