Microbial Population Biology

We study Ecology, Evolution and Behavior using microbial populations. Microbes are ideal experimental model systems. They are fantastically experimentally tractable. They have transformative effects in nature. They are essential symbionts and agents of disease.

Micropop is a collaborative group of researchers mostly at the University of Minnesota. We use populations of microbes (yeast, bacteria and viruses) to answer fundamental questions in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, and intersections of those fields. These include:

  • How does biological complexity, such as multicellularity, evolve?
  • Why does cooperation evolve, when individuals can cheat?
  • What is the basis for molecular evolution of complex traits?
  • Can studying aging (and cancer) in microbes lead to useful insights?
  • What role does studying the history and philosophy of science play in guiding research?
  • Is spatial structure important in the evolution of cooperation and complexity? 


January 16-21, 2012:

CBC Radio: Quirks and Quarks

The Hindi: Yeast Evolves to Multicellular Variety in 60 Days in the Lab by R. Prasad

The Star Tribune: U's yeast: Revolutionary evolution by Jenna Ross

The State Column: Scientists create multicellular life using gravity and pressure

Ars Technica: Researchers evolve a multicellular yeast in the lab in 2 months by John Timmer

ScienceDaily: Biologists Replicate Key Evolutionary Step 

New York Times: Yeast Experiment Hints at a Faster Evolution from Single Cells by Carl Zimmer

Nature News: Yeast suggest speedy start for multicellular life by Ed Yong

The Scientist: Evolving Multicellularity by Jef Akst 

Scientific American: Test Tube Yeast Evolve Multicellularity by Sarah Fecht

Wired: Multicellular Life Evolves in Laboratory by Brandon Keim

Wired UK: Selfless yeast sheds light on origins of multicellular life by Duncan Geere

Not Exactly Rocket Science: How I became we, which became I again by Ed Yong

Scientific American Blogs: Evolution: The Rise of Complexity by Christie Wilcox 

Digital Journal: Yeast experiment suggests rapid start for multicellular life by Kev Hedges

The Daily Galaxy: Evolution from Single to Multi-Cellularity


Experimental Evolution of Multicellularity

Measuring the Fitness of Symbiotic Rhizobia

Experimental Evolution of Ultraviolet Radiation Resistance in Escherichia coli

Life Histories of Symbiotic rhizobia and mycorrhizal fungi

Failure to Fix Nitrogen by Non-Reproductive symbiotic rhizobia triggers host sanctions that reduce fitness of their reproductive clonemates

Alternative Actions for Antibiotics

© micropop 2012