Zoom in on any patch of our planet and you will find a diverse group of microorganisms living together. Invisible to the naked eye, microbes live in complex communities that inhabit oceans, soils, our homes, and our bodies. Microbes are not mere inhabitants of these environments; they play a major role in the health of the environment in which they reside. Various types of molecular interactions occur between species in a microbial community, such as the exchange of nutrients or competition for resources. These molecular relationships shape the composition of the community and, in turn, the health of the ecosystem. However, the specifics of microbial interactions remain unknown. By examining microbes in isolation, in co-cultures, and within wholescale communities, the Taga Lab aims to uncover hidden interactions between microbes. We hope to apply our knowledge to manipulate microbial growth in controlled ways in order to dissect relationships between microbes and uncover new ways to promote environmental and human health.

 

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