About Ville-Petri Friman
We are interested in eco-evolutionary dynamics of species interactions in multi-trophic communities. We are specifically focused on plant rhizosphere and human lung microbiomes and how interactions within these microbial communities affect the fitness and survival of associated host organisms. Elucidating these processes is especially important for understanding bacterial disease dynamics in agricultural and medical contexts and developing new ways to control infections. Moreover, we are interested in how the rapid evolution of species interactions might feedback and change the composition, stability and the functioning of microbial ecosystems.
We use two main study systems in our research. First, we use model cystic fibrosis lung microbiome to focus on understanding how the evolution of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterial pathogen is shaped by sub-inhibitory antibiotic concentrations, other co-occurring bacteria and lytic phages. Second, we use a tomato rhizosphere microbiome model to study bacteria-phage-plant interactions in soil focusing on Ralstonia solanacearum plant pathogenic bacterium (a causative agent of bacterial wilt disease). We combine experimental evolution with environmental and clinical sampling, field and greenhouse experiments, genome sequencing and bioinformatic analysis and work with various microbes including bacteria, phages, protists.
Our main interests include
- Using ecological and evolutionary theory to engineer rhizosphere microbiomes in agriculture
- Phage therapy in clinical and agricultural contexts
Evolution of pathogen virulence
- Antibiotic resistance evolution in microbial communities
- Eco-evolutionary dynamics of species interactions in microbiomes
Plant pathogenic Ralstonia solanacearum bacterium causes considerable economic losses to food production systems. The main reason for this is that no effective control methods exist. Here we develop phage combination therapy that only targets the pathogen leaving beneficial microbiome unharmed.