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Endosymbiosis and the cellular partnerships that are powering the planet

1:00pm-1:45pm on Monday 29 March

Times shown are in GMT (UTC +0) up to the 27th March. For events on or after 28th March times are in BST (UTC +1).

Photosynthesis was not invented by plants. Rather, it was stolen from the bacterial cells that created this technology. The cellular heist took place through endosymbiosis; two organisms living together (symbiosis) but one inside (endo) the other. The captor, now plants, gained photosynthesis as an easy energy supply, whilst the captive photosynthetic bacterial cell gained protection from the environment and a supply of water and nutrients. So, both parties benefitted.

As cellular partnerships, endosymbioses have been potent forces in the evolution of life. They have occurred countless times amongst different organisms with both partners bringing various capabilities and resources to the consortium. In fact, some organisms have entered into endosymbiotic partnerships many times, such that they now represent cellular versions of Russian matryoshka dolls.

While endosymbiosis was one of the formative evolutionary processes that resulted in both plants and animals, it is not a forgotten process. Every day new partnerships are forming and contributing to the fabric of modern life. Endosymbiotic relationships can even be the foundations of whole modern ecosystems such as coral reefs, where the disruption of the relationships between corals and algae can destabilise entire ecological systems.

In this talk, Dr Ross Waller will describe how we study endosymbiotic relationships and how they represent driving forces in the biodiversity and productivity of the planet.

 

Join us on our YouTube channel to watch this talk live and take part in a Q&A session with the speaker: https://youtu.be/P9N53vQ0AJk

 

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Ross Waller gained his PhD at the University of Melbourne studying how the malaria parasite was once photosynthetic and, surprisingly, has kept its endosymbiont even after becoming a deadly blood pathogen. Ross then undertook postdoctoral fellowships in Melbourne and Canada before joining the faculty of the University of Melbourne. In 2013 he relocated his research group to our Department of Biochemistry, where he continues to study endosymbiosis in both photosynthetic and pathogenetic organisms.

Booking/Registration is: UNAVAILABLE

Join us on our YouTube channel to watch this talk live and take part in a Q&A session with the speaker: https://youtu.be/P9N53vQ0AJk

Additional Information

Age: Young Adults 12 – 18, Adults
Timing: Live Stream, Available on Demand
Theme: Environment
Image copyright: Ross Waller, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge.

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