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Food for Thought: Cheese Rinds as Model Microbial Ecosystems
Start Date: 2/20/2014Start Time: 1:00 PM
End Date: 2/20/2014End Time: 2:00 PM

Event Description:
Location: Fenton 603A

Biology Department Lecture
Dr. Benjamin Wolfe is a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University Center for Systems Biology. Although humans have utilized microbes to make fermented foods for thousands of years, we know little about the diversity of food microbial communities or the factors that shape this diversity. Bacteria and fungi colonize the surface of naturally aged cheeses and form multi-species biofilms (rinds). Using next generation sequencing, we have assessed the taxonomic and functional diversity of rind microbial communities from 137 artisan cheeses made across Europe and the United States. Our work show that most microbes found were not intentionally inoculated into the cheese and highlights the importance of microbial that migrate from raw material and the environment into the assembly of the cheese communities. Free and open to the public; refreshments will be provided.

Contact Information:
Name: Celeste Peterson
Intended Audience:
  • Faculty
  • Graduate Students
  • Staff
  • Undergraduate Students
  • Sponsor(s):
  • College of Arts & Sciences

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