WHAT WE RESEARCH
The skin microbiome in amphibians has a relevant role protecting hosts against emerging diseases, such as chytridiomycosis. This disease is one of the main causes of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide and is caused by the fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). Multiple bacterial strains with antifungal capacities have been isolated from the amphibian skin and several studies have shown that these bacteria are able to protect the hosts against Bd and Bsal.
In my lab, we want to understand the biotic and abiotic factors shaping skin microbiomes through the use of next generation sequencing technologies. Also, we want to analyze the protective functions present on symbiotic bacterial strains through the use of genomic and functional in vitro assays. Finally, we are also interested in describing the interactions occurring between microbial communities and their hosts with the aim of understanding the nature of these symbioses and their evolutionary implications.