Congratulations to Yohannes Mulatu Tafesse, Fabio Spairani and Stefano Lometto on getting their Master’s degree.
Good job on your theses and defense!
Yohannes screened 339 ticks from Ethiopia, Egypt and Kenya by PCR for the presence of bacterial symbionts and pathogens, as well as pathogenic protozoa. Then, together with a team in Milan, he applied statistics to investigate coinfections.
Fabio developed bioinformatic pipelines to investigate the process of genome reduction in three different sets of bacteria: a dataset representative of the whole bacterial diversity (16000 organisms), and two more specific datasets, one the order Rickettsiales (which includes only host-associated bacteria), and the other on the genus Pantoea (encompassing free-living organisms and mutualistic symbionts of stinkbugs).
Stefano used bioinformatic pipelines to selectively assembled the genome of a novel species of a Rickettsiales bacterial symbiont of the ciliate Paramecium. He then performed phylogenomic analyses and selected comparative analyses with members of the order Rickettsiales in order to investigate the interaction with the host and the evolutionary path of this bacterium.