Jain Rikesh

Functional and bioinformatics analysis of predator prey interaction in bacteria

Team: Tam Mignot (LCB) - Bianca Habermann (IBDM)

His background

March 2020 - present | CENTURI Postdoctoral fellow

2015 - 2019 | PhD in Neurobiology - National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) (Bangalore, India)

2007 - 2012 | BSc & MSc in Medical Biotechnology - Sardar Patel University (Gujarat, India)

About his PhD project

Myxobacteria, which are well-known predators of the bacterial world, prey on a broad range of bacterial species including E. coli. Their predatory behavior involves moving or gliding (socially and individually) towards the prey, secreting specialized molecules (secondary metabolites and hydrolytic enzymes) to kill and digest the prey and consuming the digested prey. It has been observed that their predatory performance varies significantly with the type of prey: some preys show more resistance than others. In addition, many prey bacteria have been shown to develop diverse defense mechanisms such as biofilm formation and toxin secretion, to confer resistance against predation. As per the Red Queen Hypothesis, predators living in the same environment with prey should also evolve in parallel. The coevolutionary interactions may not only reshape the prey defense system but also the predatory kill system. In this project, I will combine bioinformatics and experimental approaches to study the enforced predator-prey co-evolution/co-adaptation at phenotypic, transcriptomic and genomic levels. This study will help in identifying the evolutionary active components of prey and predator during co-evolution.