Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. How do extremophile bdelloid rotifers survive on limited nutrients?

css pmedia

How do extremophile bdelloid rotifers survive on limited nutrients?

Monday, June 24, 2019 - 14:30 to 15:30
Robert Hooke Seminar Room

School of Physical Sciences Seminar

Monday 24th June at 2.30pm

Robert Hooke Seminar Room

Coffee available from 2.00pm

Thomas McNally (Imperial College, London)

How do extremophile bdelloid rotifers survive on limited nutrients?  


Bdelloid rotifers are microscopic animals able to withstand extremes of freezing, arid, anoxic and radioactive conditions. They can survive without water or nutrients in a desiccated state for up to nine years. They are also extremely resistant to starvation and pilot studies into the limits of their tolerance suggest laboratory cultures of rotifers can thrive and even reproduce in the absence of added organic nutrients in a minimal ionic solution. How they can do this is currently a mystery. A clue to this puzzle is the fact that they are unable to grow or reproduce in media that is completely free of bacteria. This suggests a bdelloid rotifer’s associated microbial community may be able to use inorganic ions to generate energy, fix carbon or both, producing the biochemical complexity to support animal life.

By probing the microbial communities associated with A. ricciae, the laboratory model for bdelloid rotifers, we will characterise the syntrophic interactions of that microbial community and its metabolites with metabarcoding, reverse genetics techniques and NMR. This will be done with an eye towards useful or novel biomolecules that could provide an understanding on how metabolism can operate elsewhere in the solar system where freezing, arid, anoxic and radioactive conditions are the norm.

Please remember to sign in on the attendance sheet.

Upcoming Events

Oct 23

A talk by Prof Jocelyn Bell Burnell: An Accidental Discovery

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 17:30 to 19:30

Berrill Theatre, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes

Nov 6

Women in Physics: Past, Present and Future

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 09:00 to 16:00

Michael Young Building

Succeeding in STEM: three women profs and their unconventional careers

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 18:00 to 20:00

Berrill Lecture Theatre

See All