BPP Fall Seminar Series

October 22 | Dr. Laila P. Partida-Martínez

The Rhizopus microsporus holobiont: 15 years of discoveries

Rhizopus microsporus is an early-diverging fungal species that belongs to the phylum Mucoromycota. These fungi are used in the preparation of fermented foods, can be pathogens of humans and plants, but are mostly soil dwellers and saprophytes.

In this seminar, I will offer an overview of the discoveries that have set this species as one of the best models to investigate symbioses of fungi with bacteria and viruses, and how these interactions shape fungal biology and evolution. Learn more:


I lead the Research Group “Microbial Interactions” at CINVESTAV – Irapuato, one of the major public research Institutes in Mexico. I was trained as a (bio)chemical engineer (Mexico and UK), but during my Ph.D. and postdoctoral studies at the Hans-Knöll-Institute in Jena, Germany, I discovered microbial ecology and symbioses as my favorite topics. My research focuses on deciphering the mechanisms, and the ecological and evolutionary implications of plant-microbe interactions in arid environments, as well as in fungal-bacterial-viral symbioses. I am also an enthusiastic teacher, lecturer and professor. I love arts (ballet, piano) and spending time in nature.

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