“Secrets of the Soil Sociobiome” – Dr. Christine Jones

March 30th 2021
Dr. Christine Jones presents “Secrets of the Soil Sociobiome”

Links to articles mentioned in the Q&A are found below
1. Re-visioning soil foodwebs

Editorial by Mark Bradford, published in the Journal of Soil Biology & Biochemistry (2016). There are 14 other articles linked to this.

https://bradfordlab.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/bradford-m-a-2016-re-visioning-soil-food-webs-soil-biology-biochemistry-102-1-3.pdf

2. Techniques for assessing functional diversity in soils can be found in section 1.6 of the following article, entitled ‘Microbial Signaling in Plant—Microbe Interactions and Its Role on Sustainability of Agroecosystems’

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313731425_Microbial_Signaling_in_Plant-Microbe_Interactions_and_Its_Role_on_Sustainability_of_Agroecosystems

3. Enhancement of drought tolerance in crops by plant growth promoting rhizobacteria

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944501315300380?via%3Dihub

4. The following article is also illuminating ….

Rolfe, S.A, Griffiths, J, Ton, J. (2019). Crying out for help with root exudates: adaptive mechanisms by which stressed plants assemble health-promoting soil microbiomes. Curr Opin Microbiol. 49:73-82. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2019.10.003.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1369527419300578?via%3Dihub

The Secret Language of Bacteria – An ASM “Microbes After Hours” Event

No bacterium lives alone — it is constantly encountering members of its own species as well as other kinds of bacteria and diverse organisms like viruses, fungi, plants and animals. To navigate a complex world, microbes use chemical signals to sense and communicate with one another.

Live streamed on Monday, January 28th, 2013, from 6-7:30 p.m. at ASM’s headquarters, 1752 N St., NW, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Bonnie Bassler, Princeton University

Bonnie Bassler Ph.D. is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Squibb Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. The research in her laboratory focuses on the molecular mechanisms that bacteria use for intercellular communication. This process is called quorum sensing. Bassler’s research is paving the way to the development of novel therapies for combating bacteria by disrupting quorum-sensing-mediated communication. Dr. Bassler was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2002. She was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 2002 and made a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004. Dr. Bassler was the President of the American Society for Microbiology in 2010-2011; she is currently the Chair of the American Academy of Microbiology Board of Governors. She is also a member of the National Science Board and was nominated to that position by President Barak Obama. The Board oversees the NSF and prioritizes the nation’s research and educational priorities in science, math and engineering.

Dr. Steven Lindow, University of California, Berkeley

Steven Lindow Ph.D. is a Professor at the University of California, Berkley where his research focuses on various aspects of the interaction of bacteria with the surface and interior of plants. Dr. Lindow’ s lab uses a variety of molecular and microscopy-based methods to study the ecology of bacterial epiphytes that live on the surface of plants as well as certain bacteria that are vascular pathogens of plants. They also study bacteria that live in and on plants that are fostered by consumption of the alkaloids produced by endophytic fungi. The longer-term goal of their research is to improve plants’ productivity by achieving control of plant diseases through altering the microbial communities in and on plants. Dr. Lindow is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and was elected to fellowship in both the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1999.

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World

In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware. Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group.

Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth.

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

From Pulitzer Prize winner Ed Yong, a groundbreaking, wondrously informative, and vastly entertaining examination of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin—a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, radically reconceived picture of life on earth.

Every animal, whether human, squid, or wasp, is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ed Yong, whose humor is as evident as his erudition, prompts us to look at ourselves and our animal companions in a new light—less as individuals and more as the interconnected, interdependent multitudes we assuredly are.

The microbes in our bodies are part of our immune systems and protect us from disease. In the deep oceans, mysterious creatures without mouths or guts depend on microbes for all their energy. Bacteria provide squid with invisibility cloaks, help beetles to bring down forests, and allow worms to cause diseases that afflict millions of people.

Many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us—the microbiome—build our bodies, protect our health, shape our identities, and grant us incredible abilities. In this astonishing book, Ed Yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery. It will change both our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it.

The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures

From one of our preeminent neuroscientists: a landmark reflection that spans the biological and social sciences, offering a new way of understanding the origins of life, feeling, and culture.

The Strange Order of Things is a pathbreaking investigation into homeostasis, the condition of that regulates human physiology within the range that makes possible not only the survival but also the flourishing of life. Antonio Damasio makes clear that we descend biologically, psychologically, and even socially from a long lineage that begins with single living cells; that our minds and cultures are linked by an invisible thread to the ways and means of ancient unicellular life and other primitive life-forms; and that inherent in our very chemistry is a powerful force, a striving toward life maintenance that governs life in all its guises, including the development of genes that help regulate and transmit life. In The Strange Order of Things, Damasio gives us a new way of comprehending the world and our place in it.

Personal Microbial Cloud Experiment

Humans harbor diverse microbial communities in and on our bodies, and these can be readily detected in the built environment. Human-associated bacteria disperse into and throughout buildings by three primary mechanisms: (1) direct human contact with indoor surfaces; (2) bioaerosol particle emission from our breath, clothes, skin and hair; and (3) resuspension of indoor dust containing previously shed human skin cells, hair and other bacteria-laden particles. Microbial communities in the built environment are often traced back to an individual person, based on their direct contact with an object, including classroom surfaces and mobile phones. Using our unique Climate Chamber, we measured the airborne bacterial emissions, or “microbial cloud“, of individuals. Most occupants could be clearly detected by their cloud or by settled microbial particles within 1.5 – 4 hours. Our results confirm that an occupied space is microbially-distinct from an unoccupied one, and demonstrate for the first time that individuals release their own personalized microbial cloud.

A Symbiotic View of Life: We Have Never Been Individuals

The notion of the “biological individual” is crucial to studies of genetics, immunology, evolution,development, anatomy, and physiology. Each of these biological subdisciplines has a specific conception of individuality, which has historically provided conceptual contexts for integrating newly acquired data. During the past decade, nucleic acid analysis, especially genomic sequencing and high-throughput RNA techniques, has challenged each of these disciplinary definitions by finding significant interactions of animals and plants with symbiotic microorganisms that disrupt the boundaries that heretofore had characterized the biological individual. Animals cannot be considered individuals by anatomical or physiological criteria because a diversity of symbionts are both present and functional in completing metabolic pathways and serving other physiological functions. Similarly, these new studies have shown that animal development is incomplete without symbionts. Symbionts also constitute a second mode of genetic inheritance, providing selectable genetic variation for natural selection. The immune system also develops, in part, in dialogue with symbionts and thereby functions as a mechanism for integrating microbes into the animal-cell community. Recognizing the “holobiont”—the multicellular eukaryote plus its colonies of persistent symbionts—as a critically important unit of anatomy, development, physiology, immunology, and evolution opens up new investigative avenues and conceptually challenges the ways in which the biological subdisciplines have heretofore characterized living entities.