Main Navigation

University Resources

Colin Dale

Professor | Section Head, Genetics and Evolution

Ph.D. University of Liverpool

Graduate Program Membership:

Office/Building: BIOL 204
Phone: 801-585-0558

Research Statement

Many insects are known to harbor mutualistic bacterial symbionts that play important roles in host nutrition and defense. Research in the Dale lab explores the nature of these symbiotic interactions using an integrative approach that employs genomic, transcriptomic, molecular genetic and molecular evolutionary analysis techniques. We explore a range of topics including: (i) the causes and consequences of genome degeneration in bacterial symbionts, (ii) the molecular basis of interactions between insects and symbiotic bacteria, and (iii) the use of symbionts to express foreign gene in insects of medical and agricultural importance.

Research Interests

General Interests
Specific Interests
  • Bacterial genome evolution
  • Molecular interactions in symbiosis
  • Culture and genetic manipulation of insect symbionts

Selected Publications

  • Su, Y., Lin H-C, Teh, L, Chevance, F., James, I., Mayfield, C., Golic, K.G., Gagnon, J.A., Rog, O. and Dale, C. 2022. Rational engineering of a synthetic insect-bacterial mutualism. Current Biology. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2022.07.036.
  • Weinstein, S.B., et al. 2021. Microbiome stability and structure is governed by host phylogeny over diet and geography in woodrats (Neotoma spp.). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118: e2108787118
  • Nechitaylo, T.Y. et al. 2021. Incipient genome erosion and metabolic streamlining for antibiotic production in a defensive symbiont. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 118: e2023047118
  • Medina Munoz, M., Spencer, N., Enomoto, S., Dale, C. and Rio, R.V.M. 2020. Quorum sensing sets the stage for the establishment and vertical transmission of Sodalis praecaptivus in tsetse flies. PLoS Genetics. 16: e1008992
  • McCutcheon, J.P., Boyd, B.and Dale, C. 2019. The life of an insect endosymbiont: conflict and cooperation from the cradle to the grave. Current Biology. 29: 485-495
  • Enomoto, S., Chari, A., Clayton, A.L., Dale, C. 2017. Quorum Sensing Attenuates Virulence in Sodalis praecaptivus. Cell Host and Microbe. 21: 629-636.

Courses Taught

  • Biol 5275: Microbial Diversity, Genetics and Evolution