QTL AnalysiS and EXPERIMENTAL EVOLUTION
The first step in biofilm formation is adherence to a surface. We are investigating the genetic basis of plastic adherence in natural isolates, as well as through de novo evolution. We are using growth in the presence of plastic beads to select for the ability to adhere to plastic, then comparing the genetic basis of the newly evolved ability to that existing in strains isolated from the environment.
Yeast are grown while attaching to plastic beads (sample bead shown on the left). Photo above shows the surface of a bead with red glowing cells attached.
NIH R15: The Evolution and Genetics of a Complex Fungal Virulence Trait (Role: PI)