Five Sentence Summaries

I don’t write much because it takes me forever to write because I am the slowest writer in academia, mostly because I feel obligated to provide a lot of background, references, context, etc. It’s paralyzing. So, inspired by, I’m going to start posting five-sentence summaries of the seminars I attend and interesting papers I read.

Here’s my first attempt. Today, at UC Davis:

Role of Microorganisms in the Growth, Development and Reproduction of Mosquitoes, Mike Strand, University of Georgia

1. Axenic mosquito larvae do not make it past their first instar, but they can be rescued by inoculation of (most) any *single* member of their cultured gut microbes.

2. In fact, even E. coli K12, which is not typically found in the mosquito gut, will rescue the axenic larvae!

3. Using tiny aquatic larvae in 96-well plates, he screened an entire E. coli knockout library to find 38 rescue-defective mutants, and was able to identify the pathways involved in rescue.

4. Many of the E. coli mutations resulted in the accumulation of metabolic intermediates, like acetate, butyrate, etc.

5. Mosquito larvae have really alkaline midguts (>pH 11), and if you put a pH indicator in 96-well plates, you will see that when gnotobiotic larvae poop in the water, the water becomes alkaline, but with the axenic larvae, it does not.

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