Dr. Jens Walter
M.S. Food Technology, Hohenheim University, Germany
Ph.D. Food Technology and Microbiology, Hohenheim University, Germany
Post Doc. Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago, New Zealand
333 Food Industry Complex
Lincoln, NE 68583-0919
Teaching and/or Extension Activities:
Gastrointestinal Microbiology, Microbial Ecology, Food Microbiology
My research concerns the interactions between vertebrates and the bacterial populations that reside in their gastrointestinal tract (the gut microbiota), and how this relationship relates to human and animal health and performance. Areas of interest involve the study of the evolution, ecology, and lifestyle of the vertebrate gut symbiont Lactobacillus reuteri, and the identification and characterization of genetic and phenotypic traits of this species that facilitate host-specific colonization of the gastrointestinal tract. I am further interested in characterizing the interplay between diet, the gut microbiota, and the metabolism and immune system of the host with the long-term goal to develop dietary strategies that modulate composition and functionality of the gut microbiota to prevent chronic diseases.
Six Selected Publications:
• Oh PL, Benson AK, Peterson DA, Patil PB, Moriyama EN, Roos S, and Walter J.Diversification of the gut symbiont Lactobacillus reuteri as a result of host-driven evolution. The ISME Journal, 4: 377–387 (2010).
• Walter J, Britton RA, and Roos S.Host-microbial symbiosis in the vertebrate gastrointestinal tract and the Lactobacillus reuteri paradigm. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 108 Suppl. 1:4645-4652 (2010).
• Martínez I,Kim J, Duffy PR, Schlegel VL, and Walter J.Resistant starches types 2 and 4 have differential effects on the composition of the fecal microbiota in human subjects. PLoS One. 5(11): e15046 (2010).
• Frese SA, Benson AK, Tannock GW, Loach DM, Kim J, et al.The Evolution of Host Specialization in the Vertebrate Gut Symbiont Lactobacillus reuteri.PLoS Genet 7(2): e1001314 (2011).
• Martínez I, Lattimer JM, Hubach KL, Case JA, Yang J, Weber CG, Louk JA, Rose DJ, Kyureghian G, Peterson DA, Haub MD, and Walter J. Gut microbiome composition is linked to whole grain-induced immunological improvements. ISME Journal. Epub ahaed of print (2012)
• Martínez I, Perdicaro DJ, Bron AW, Hamons S, Carden TJ, Carr TP, Eskridge KM, and Walter J. Diet-induced alterations of host choleterol metabolism are likely to affect gut microbiota composition in hamsters. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Epub ahead of print (2012).