I am fascinated about how fish-microbe systems adapt to extreme environments.
Co-adaptation of fish hosts and microbes to the hostile waters of the Rio Negro (2017-now)
The Rio Negro, the Amazon’s primary tributary, is home to more than 1000 fish species, making it one of the most biodiverse water course on Earth. However, this environment is extremely hostile to any life form, due to its very acidic pH (3.0-4.0) and its nutrient and ion-depleted waters. How is it possible to observe such a high fish diversity in such an ecosystem?
The goal of our project is to understand how fishes from the Rio Negro adapt to the extreme water conditions found in this environment. We hypothesized that the answer to this question relies upon symbiotic bacteria living on the fish, that are originally recruited from the water.