University of Cambridge > > Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge Science Festival Talks (2021) > Endosymbiosis and the cellular partnerships that are powering the planet

Endosymbiosis and the cellular partnerships that are powering the planet

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact nobody.

Join us on our YouTube channel to watch this talk live and take part in a Q&A session with the speaker:

Photosynthesis was not invented by plants. Rather, it was stolen from the bacterial cells that created this technology. The cellular heist took place through endosymbiosis; two organisms living together (symbiosis) but one inside (endo) the other. The captor, now plants, gained photosynthesis as an easy energy supply, whilst the captive photosynthetic bacterial cell gained protection from the environment and a supply of water and nutrients. So, both parties benefitted.

As cellular partnerships, endosymbioses have been potent forces in the evolution of life. They have occurred countless times amongst different organisms with both partners bringing various capabilities and resources to the consortium. In fact, some organisms have entered into endosymbiotic partnerships many times, such that they now represent cellular versions of Russian matryoshka dolls.

While endosymbiosis was one of the formative evolutionary processes that resulted in both plants and animals, it is not a forgotten process. Every day new partnerships are forming and contributing to the fabric of modern life. Endosymbiotic relationships can even be the foundations of whole modern ecosystems such as coral reefs, where the disruption of the relationships between corals and algae can destabilise entire ecological systems.

In this talk, Dr Ross Waller will describe how we study endosymbiotic relationships and how they represent driving forces in the biodiversity and productivity of the planet.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A session.

To keep up to date with all of the Biochemistry Department’s news for the 2021 Cambridge Festival, give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@CamBiochem)!

Ross Waller gained his PhD at the University of Melbourne studying how the malaria parasite was once photosynthetic and, surprisingly, has kept its endosymbiont even after becoming a deadly blood pathogen. Ross then undertook postdoctoral fellowships in Melbourne and Canada before joining the faculty of the University of Melbourne. In 2013 he relocated his research group to our Department of Biochemistry, where he continues to study endosymbiosis in both photosynthetic and pathogenetic organisms.

This talk is part of the Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge Science Festival Talks (2021) series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.


© 2006-2021, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity