Institute News

Guest in house: Interviews with our researchers

It is our pleasure to announce another interview with one of our research group leaders: Dr. James Lightfoot. James answered our questions and provided interesting insights into the background of his research field.

Since beginning of 2021, James is the head of the Max Planck Research Group "Genetics of Behavior" at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar, focusing on the fundamental principles and molecular mechanisms behind kin-recognition and its associated social behaviors.

The group of James explores the self-recognition system evident in the omnivorous roundworm, Pristionchus pacificus. This nematode has evolved teeth-like denticles and is capable of both feeding on bacteria and killing other nematode larvae, including those of its more famous cousin Caenorhabditis elegans. However, while P. pacificus kills other nematode species and strains, remarkably, it does not kill its own progeny; they therefore investigate this self-recognition system which protects the offspring from the predatory parent.

| A video by Julia Schlee and Lucas Reindl

For further information please contact:

Julia Schlee
Public Outreach Officer