Seminar - Developing Phage Derived Bacteriocins as Strain Specific Agricultural Antimicrobials

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
presents a seminar by:
David Baltrus
Associate Professor, School of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona
Seminar - Developing Phage Derived Bacteriocins as Strain Specific Agricultural Antimicrobials


Sponsored by UBC Department of Microbiology & Immunology

David Baltrus Lab:

Abstract: Since interactions between microbes can determine assembly dynamics within microbiomes, outcomes of these interactions have the potential to directly shape functional outputs of microbial communities. A deeper understanding of the molecules that drive these interactions may therefore enable fine scale manipulation of microbiomes in both clinical and agricultural settings. The Baltrus lab has previously characterized a suite of antimicrobial molecules (tailocins) produced by strains of Pseudomonas but derived from prophage, in which phage tails can be used as weapons to target and lyse specific closely related strains. We show that these molecues are highly selective in their targeting, but also that some strains possess much broader killing capabilities than previously thought. Using multiple genetic and genomic assays, we have identified regions that enable for tailocin host range changes as well as switches in tailocin sensitivity across strains. Taken together, by understand the molecular language for how amino acid divergence changes host range and by categorizing the genetic basis of sensivity, we hope to develop programmable antibiotics that can bind to and eliminate target cells while anticipating and countering resistance as it evolves.

This is a hybrid seminar which you can attend in person in LSC3 (Life Sciences Institute, UBC Vancouver Campus) or on Zoom. If you are joining on zoom, please use the meeting ID and passcode below: 

Meeting ID: 91037 579420 

Passcode: 579420


Tuesday, March 21, 2023 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Life Sciences Centre, LSC 3
2350 Health Sciences Mall
Hosted by
Dr. Cara Haney