Shruthi Magesh

Shruthi Magesh
Visiting Undergraduate
330 North Orchard Street
Madison WI 53715
Room 3115D-1

Genetic analysis of microbial community assembly and invasion.

Years at WID

2018 - present


Shruthi Magesh is a visiting undergrad student from India who is with the Handelsman lab for the summer of 2018 through the Khorana Program for Scholars.


B.Tech Biotechnology at SRM Institute of Science and Technology

Research Description

The Handelsman lab discovered a synergistic community phenotype that results from interactions among three common soil bacteria: Bacillus cereus, Flavobacterium johnsoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Importantly, the three phyla represented in this model are the three dominant phyla on plant roots and in the human gut: Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria, respectively. Together, these species produce more biofilm than any of the three species singly and, therefore, provide the basis for the first genetic analysis of a phenotype that requires all members of a three-membered community. To assess community assembly and stability, we inoculated sterilized sand in test tubes to simulate the native environment. We found that when F. johnsoniae is present in a community its growth is affected due to the presence of pseudomonas and B. cereus helps maintain F. johnsoniae in the community. Using transposon mutant libraries in each species, we hope to identify candidate genes that stabilize the presence of F. johnsoniae in the community and genes that help it to colonize on sand.


Khorana Scholar 2018