About Us


Research: Evolutionary and Functional Genomics of Symbiotic Bacteria

In bacterial evolution, the development of a host-dependent lifestyle often has profound effects on the genome organization. To better understand the evolutionary processes and functional consequences associated with these genetic changes, we utilize genomics, transcriptomics, and molecular genetics approaches to conduct comparative analyses among bacteria with different ecological niches or phenotypes. The recent research projects in our lab are based on two main study systems:

(1) Mollicutes

The class Mollicutes contains diverse groups of host-associated bacteria with no cell wall, including Mycoplasma (many are vertebrate pathogens), 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' (plant pathogens), and Spiroplasma (mostly insect symbionts, some are plant pathogens). Our short-term goal in this system is to investigate the genetic mechanisms that may explain the differences among species or strains with distinct phenotypes. In the long-term, we plan to generate sufficient genomic data to allow for comprehensive comparisons that improve our understanding of these bacteria.

(2) Agrobacteria

The plant-associated bacteria known as "agrobacteria" are important because of their biotechnological use in plant transformation and their phytopathogenicity that impacts agriculture. We are interested in the genetic diversity, genome evolution, and functional characterization across different subgroups in this diverse group, including those classified to the genera Agrobacterium, Allorhizobium, Rhizobium, and others.



(1) 柔膜菌綱 (Mollicutes)

柔膜菌綱為一群不具有細胞壁之宿主依存性細菌,包括黴漿菌(Mycoplasma; 含多種脊椎動物病原)、植物菌質體 ('Candidatus Phytoplasma'; 植物病原)、及螺旋菌質體 (Spiroplasma; 多為昆蟲共生菌,部分物種為植物病原) 等代表性物種。本研究室的短期目標為調查可解釋物種間或菌株間表現型差異之遺傳機制,而長期目標則是累積足夠的基因體資料以進行完整的比較分析藉以了解這群細菌。

(2) 農桿菌 (Agrobacteria)