PhD Title: Trichomes to blooms in the marine diazotrophic cyanobacterium – Trichodesmium
Trichodesmium is a filamentous, non-heterocystous cyanobacteria whose filaments (trichomes) are composed of 10-100s of cells with similar morphologies. Trichomes can be found as single filaments, spherical (“puffs”) or fusiform (“tufts”) colonies . The colonies provide unique habitats for other organisms (metazoans, bacteria, and viruses) and serve as hot-spots for microbial mediated nutrient transformations within the oligotrophic oceans. While this phenomenon is a well-known trait of Trichodesmium the mechanisms for the formation of these structures are not understood.
In my research, I am interested in determining what causes the single filaments to create colonies; to reveal the cues and mechanisms involved in creating colonies from single trichomes. My work will combine live-imaging microscopy as well as molecular and physiological techniques.