Microbial Interactions

In microbial systems microbe-microbe interactions can include both positive and negative interactions. Positive interactions can include cooperation (such as biofilm production), mutualism (such as syntrophy or cross-feeding) where microorganisms exchange metabolic products to the benefit of both organisms. Alternatively, negative interactions include predation, production of metabolic waste products that negatively alters the environment, production of antibiotics, and competition for same niche space.

Microbial species also often form tight symbiotic relationships with multicellular eukaryotic hosts. Host-microbe synergistic interactions could aid larger eukaryotes (eg. plants, insects, amphibians) in adapting to climate change. Understanding how microbiomes of host eukaryotes could predispose them to adapt to environmental changes helps us predict downstream impacts on whole ecosystem function. The goal is to elucidate the essential role of microbiomes in stress tolerance of eukaryotic hosts in the context of adaptation of cryospheric organisms in a warming environment.