Defining bacterial individuality in a cooperative microbial consortium
Bacteria readily engage in cooperative interactions in which metabolites are reciprocally exchanged among bacterial cells. The growth of the whole consortium in such obligate cross-feeding interactions depends on the contribution of each individual partner. Such intricate interactions among interdependent bacteria forms mutualistic bacterial networks which often can be considered as evolutionary individuals on which natural selection might act. To test this hypothesis, I aim to define bacterial individuality in a cooperative amino acid cross-feeding consortia and to identify whether individual bacterial cells or clusters of cross-feeding bacteria represent a Darwinian individual. Furthermore I also aim to identify conflict resolution strategies that maintains cooperative interactions within these multicellular clusters. On a broader context, this project will help us study how independent evolutionary individuals coalesce to form a new higher-level entity broadening our view on how organisms evolve in a community context.
Education and Scientific Career
Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Ecology, University of Osnabruck, Osnabruck, Germany.
Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Microbiology, Bose Institute, Kolkata, India.
Doctoral Student, Department of Microbiology, Bose Institute, Kolkata, India.
Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Biotechnology, B.C. Guha Centre for Genetic Engineering & Department of Biotechnolgy (GCGEB), University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India.
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Microbiology, Department of Microbiology, Dinabandhu Andrews College, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India.
Honours and Awards
- December 2008: Received ‘Best poster award’ at the “International Congress of Environmental Research, held at BITS-Pilani, Goa campus, India.
- April 2008: Qualified the National Eligibility Test (CSIR-NET) for Junior Research Fellowship in Life Science, organized by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-HRDG), Govt. of India
- Pal Chowdhury, P., Basu S., Dutta, A., Dutta, T. K. (2016): Functional Characterization of a Novel Member of the Amidohydrolase 2 Protein Family, 2-Hydroxy-1-Naphthoic Acid Nonoxidative Decarboxylase from Burkholderia sp. Strain BC1. J Bacteriol 198: 1755-1763.
- Basu, S., Pal Chowdhury, P., Deb, S., Dutta, T. K. (2016): Degradation Pathways of 2- and 4-Nitrobenzoates in Cupriavidus sp. Strain ST-14 and Construction of a Recombinant Strain, ST-14::3NBA, Capable of Degrading 3-Nitrobenzoate. Appl Environ Microbiol 82: 4253-4263.
- Pal Chowdhury, P., Sarkar, J., Basu, S., Dutta, T. K. (2014): Metabolism of 2-hydroxy-1-naphthoic acid and naphthalene via gentisic acid by distinctly different sets of enzymes in Burkholderia sp. Strain BC1. Microbiology 160: 892-902.
- Sarkar, J. Pal Chowdhury, P., Dutta, T. K. (2013): Complete degradation of di-n-octyl phthalate by Gordonia sp. Strain Dop5. Chemosphere 90: 2571-2577.
- Dutta, T. K., Dutta, A., Chakraborty, J., Sarkar, J., Pal Chowdhury, P., Gunsalus, I. C. (2012): Purification and properties of reductase of the three-component p-cymene methyl hydroxylase from Pseudomonas chlororaphis subsp. aureofaciens. Process Biochemistry 47: 1263-1267.