Microbes secrete many different kinds of molecules to their environment, from metabolic byproducts to extracellular enzymes. These molecules collectively modify the extracellular environment, and mediate either direct or indirect ecological interactions. Our lab is interested in how these excreted molecules structure microbial communities and determine the evolutionary trajectories of the species within, and our research program is designed to understand questions such as how the secretion of these molecules is regulated at the genetic level (Rauch et al 2016; Harrington & Sanchez 2014), how excreted molecules affect microbial community dynamics (collaboration with Pankaj Mehta and Daniel Segré (BU)), how enzymes secreted by different species interact with each other outside the cell (in collaboration with Juan Poyatos (CNB, Madrid)), and how rapid evolution alters the patterns of molecular secretions, thus altering ecological interactions. In order to investigate these questions, we leverage our expertise in single-cell gene regulation (Sanchez & Golding 2013; Choubey et al 2015; Scholes et al 2016) and public goods eco-evolutionary dynamics (Sanchez & Gore 2013, Chen et al 2014, Rauch et al 2016), and integrate mathematical modeling and experiments with reconstituted and natural communities, as well as model organisms such as S. cerevisiae, E. coli and B. subtilis.



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