iTHEMS Biology Seminar by Yoshitomo Kikuchi on October 3, 2023
In this seminar, I hosted Dr. Kikuchi from AIST, who delivered a lecture on the symbiosis between insects and microbes. In agriculture, the development of insecticide resistance in insects is a pressing issue, and one of the contributing factors is the presence of symbiotic bacteria within insects. His seminar experimentally demonstrated that insecticide-resistant bacteria residing in the soil can become symbiotic with insects by being ingested and adapting within the insect's gut.
Their discovery is of significant importance for understanding various causes of insect resistance. Notably, the insects they focus on have very narrow intestinal tunnels, with bacteria either capable or incapable of passing through. Furthermore, they discovered that to traverse these narrow tunnels, bacteria engage in a unique movement called "drill motility," where they wrap their flagella around their bodies and twist while moving.
This drill motility is a highly unique form of movement, and it is currently being researched in their project titled "The Reason why microbes are moving" from ecological, molecular biological, and physical perspectives. In the latter part of the seminar, advancements in the research related to this drill motility were discussed.
These studies on host-microbe interactions based on microbial behavior have evolved into a grand interdisciplinary research effort encompassing physics, mathematics, and informatics. Throughout the seminar, discussions were held regarding the fusion of mathematical sciences with biological research, making it a highly dynamic event.
Reported by Daiki Kumakura