Sack Lunch Seminar - Noelle Held (MIT-WHOI)
The eyes and ears of ocean-climate interactions: How marine bacteria sense the world and why it matters
Speaker: Noelle Held, MIT-WHOI
Abstract: Like all organisms, the survival of a marine bacterium is dependent on its ability to sense and respond to changes in the environment. This regulation is so important that in some circles, a bacterium’s sensory capability is likened to its “intelligence.” As the vectors linking microbial physiology to the environment, the regulatory systems of marine bacteria likely play crucial roles in major biogeochemical cycles. However, few regulatory systems have been studied in their ecological contexts. In this seminar, I survey the regulatory systems (specifically the two component regulatory systems) of 178 diverse marine bacteria. I describe phylogenetic and ecological influences on the presence of regulatory genes and proteins. I present evidence that compared with their terrestrial cousins, marine organisms have unique regulatory constructions that may represent a specific adaptation to the marine environment. Finally, I will present early data on the distribution of regulatory proteins in the marine environment, and will provide a brief preview of the upcoming Ocean Protein Portal data sharing interface.
Speaker's website: http://www.mit.edu/~nheld/
About the Series: The Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Sack Lunch Seminar Series is an informal seminar series within PAOC that focuses on more specialized topics than the PAOC Colloquium. Seminar topics include all research concerning the science of atmosphere, ocean and climate. The seminars usually take place on Wednesdays from 12-1pm in 54-915. The presentations are either given by an invited speaker or by a member of PAOC and can focus on new research or discussion of a paper of particular interest.