Manfredo J. Seufferheld
PhD, 1995, Colorado State University
Department of Entomology - Illinois Natural History Survey
Insects are one of the most diverse groups of organisms on the planet, the myriad species display incredibly variable behaviors and occupy ecological niches nearly everywhere. This diversity is also reflected in an abundance of insect-bacterium interactions, some of which include unexpected mechanisms that illustrate how organisms cooperate to perform life functions and gain a competitive edge. However, it is unclear how the dynamics of structure in most microbial communities contribute to their host's fitness and evolution. All microbial communities are dynamic and continuously responding to their physical environments; those associated with animals and plants must also content with the vicissitudes of their host as well. Although simple model systems have been a main source of knowledge in host-microbe interactions, they do not necessarily reflect their true roles in an interacting microbiota in its natural environment. Unless the microbes identified are highly specialized symbionts (primary endosymbionts, secondary symbionts with particular identities or functions). The complex reality of the bacterial community of field insect populations thus demands that we direct our attention to the overall differences of the interacting bacterial community that acts as a multicellular "organ", which is reflected as changes in the microbiota structure. Thus, Seufferheld is interested to establish how the gut bacterial community as a whole is interconnected with other ecological factors.
Representative and Recent Publications
Pittendrigh B. R., Berenbaum M.R., Seufferheld M J., Margam V.M., Strycharz J. P., Yoon K. S., Sun W. , Lee S. H., and Clark J. 2011. Simplify, simplify. Lifestyle and compact genome of the body louse provide a unique functional genomics opportunity. Communicative & Integrative Biology. 4(2): 188-91.
Seufferheld M.J. and Scagnioli N. 2011. Web conferencing and ICTS to enhance undergraduate science teaching. Journal of E Learning and Digital Media, 8: 1-7.
Sun L., Li H-M., Seufferheld, M.J., Margam V., Jannasch, A., Diaz N., Riley, C.P., Sun, W., Li Y-F, Muir, W. M., Wu J.X.J., Zhang, F., Chen J., Barker E.L., Adamec J., and Pittendrigh, B. 2011. Systems-scale analysis reveals pathways involved in cellular response to methamphetamine. PloS One, 6(4): e18215.
Seufferheld, M.J., Kim K.M., Whitfield J., Valerio A., and Caetano-Anolles G. 2011. Evolution of vacuolar proton pyrophosphatase domains and volutin granules: clues into the early evolutionary origin of the acidocalcisome. Biology Direct. 6:50.
Curzi M.J., Zavala J.A., Spencer J.L., and Seufferheld M.J. 2012. Abnormally high digestive enzyme activity and gene expression explain contemporary evolution of Diabrotica to biotype able to feed on soybeans. Ecology and Evolution, 2 (8): 2005-2017. [LINK]
Seufferheld M. J., and Caetano-Anollés G. 2013. Phylogenomics supports a cellularly structured urancestor. Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology. In press
Caetano-Anolles G., and Seufferheld M.J. 2013. The coevolutionary roots of biochemistry and cellular organization challenge the RNA world paradigm. Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology. In press
Chu C.C, Spencer J., Zavala J., Curzi M., and Seufferheld M.J. 2013. Insect-microbiota interactions facilitate circumvention of crop rotation in the western corn rootworm. Proceedings National Academy of Science of USA. Under review