Ankur Dalia’s work largely focuses on horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in bacterial species. Specifically, his group works on one mechanism of HGT termed “natural transformation.” During natural transformation, bacteria take up free DNA from the environment and then integrate it into their genome, which can foster the spread of antibiotic resistance and virulence factors in bacterial pathogens. Thus, a major focus of the Dalia lab is to understand the mechanism and regulation of this process using the cholera pathogen Vibrio cholerae as a model system. Also, his group exploits natural transformation to develop novel tools for genome editing.
Areas of Expertise
Microbiology, bacteriology, genetics, molecular biology, host-pathogen interactions, genome engineering, genome editing, metabolic engineering.
News release, “IU scientists watch bacteria ‘harpoon’ DNA to speed their evolution,” and links to related coverage in the media, including the BBC and The New York Times: https://news.iu.edu/external-news/iu-in-the-news/2018/06/13-big-scientists-watch-bacteria-harpoon-dna.html
News release, “IU biologists discover bacteria’s ‘sense of touch,’ which may aid water treatment, human health” https://news.iu.edu/stories/2017/10/iub/releases/26-bacterial-surface-sensing.html