PhD Defense by Rasmus Skytte Eriksen
Title: Spatial determinants of viral infections
Abstract: In this thesis, I show that bacteria can utilize both spatial organization and cooperation between bacterial strains to drastically change their interactions with their viral predator, the bacteriophage. When bacteria aggregate into a spatial arrangement, such a microcolony or a connected chain, the defence works by first delaying the phages from reaching the bacteria. Once the phage infections begin, the spatial structure causes several phage infections to concentrate into single bacteria. Since every single phage infection would lead to an infection cycle, these excess phage infections are effectively "wasted". For the bacteria in the individual clusters, the defence is likely only a temporary measure since the phages will eventually eliminate or strongly suppress any bacterial cluster. In this sense, the bacterial aggregates may instead be an altruistic phage-defence which protects other clusters by removing as many phages as possible.
Meeting ID: 640 2631 0936