João F. Matias Rodrigues
Christian von Mering's lab
Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
University of Zürich
- Microbial ecology
Until recently the number of microbial species studied and known was only 2% of all currently estimated microbial species. This means that there is still much to learn about the microbial world. I am currently studying and analyzing the patterns of microbial interactions at a global scale using publicly available 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing data from metagenomic environmental sequencing. Many interesting insights can be acquired through such analysis, a few examples are: the identification of microbial communities, or of antagonistic relationships between microbes, and the better understanding of factors influencing the evolution of microbes.
- Microbial genome evolution
Microbial genomes are known to have a high density of genes and both observational and experimental evidence have shown that microbial genomes quickly lose non-essential genes. It is straighforward to understand why the reduction of non-functional dna regions could have a positive effect on fitness. What is less clear is the mechanism by which some microbes maintain large genomes and maintain many non-essential genes.
- Engineering of microbial metabolism
- Evolution of multicellularity and symbiosis/cooperation