Special Seminar - Benjamin Kostiuk: Changes in competitiveness of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae across pandemics

  • Date: Jul 11, 2019
  • Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Ben Kostiuk from the University of Calgary (Canada)
  • For more information on the speaker, please see https://ca.linkedin.com/in/benjamin-kostiuk882869142
  • Location: MPI Plön
  • Room: Lecture hall
  • Host: Daniel Unterweger


The Gram-negative bacterium Vibrio cholerae is the causative agent of the diarrheal disease cholera. Unknown factors led to the decline of 6th pandemic classical strains and the spread of El Tor strains giving rise to the current 7th pandemic. The type six secretion system (T6SS) is one mechanism that allows V. cholerae to persist in the environment and in the host. We investigated the ability of classical V. cholerae strains of the 2nd and 6th pandemics to engage in microbial competition and tested their defense against T6SS-mediated attack compared to their 7th pandemic counterparts. Our results suggest that classical V. cholerae experienced sequential mutations in T6SS genetic determinants that disadvantaged them as microbial competitors. Analysis of available V. cholerae genomes over a timeline spanning 150 years provides insight into the role of T6SS in bacterial competition across pandemics.

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