What's on: AMRI Seminar Series

The Australian Museum Research Institute hosts a monthly series of short talks showcasing current research at the Australian Museum.

AMRI Seminar Series #2

AMRI Seminar Series #2
Photographer:  © Australian Museum

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Event Type:
Special event
04.00 PM to 05.30 PM

The seminars consists of snapshots of new results or ongoing projects designed to keep our staff informed, but are also open to members of the public with an interest in scientific research.



Toxins and the Blue-lined Octopus: Evaluating Mixed Cultures of Bacteria
Claire Chauveau, University of Liège (Belgium), Oceanography MS Student

The Blue-lined Octopus (Hapalochlaena fasciata) harbors the deadly neurotoxin tetrodotoxin (TTX). The toxin blocks sodium channels in nerves and muscles, preventing nerve signaling. We hypothesize that TTX may not be the work of a single strain of bacterium, but result from a consortium or a competition among strains. Previous researchers evaluated isolated bacterial strains and found small traces of possible TTX. We tested whether mixed cultures of bacteria would produce a stronger TTX signal because of cooperation or competition among bacteria.

Exciting times for dull brown moths 

Andrew Mitchell, AMRI

Australia has a diverse fauna of cutworm moths (Noctuidae) with some 1,200 described species. Many are major pests (e.g. the cotton bollworm) but others with their restricted high altitude distributions are likely threatened species, yet surprisingly little is known about them. Recent research has scanned the Australian fauna of one subfamily of cutworms using DNA barcodes. This has revealed hidden genetic diversity, especially among the dull-brown species. Are these new species, diverged populations of existing species or something else? And how is the Australian fauna related to the world fauna? Some answers are starting to emerge through combining the barcodes data with nuclear genes and morphology. This will be a gentle tour through some recent findings.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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