Bethany Rader | Microbiology | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Agriculture, Life and Physical Sciences

Bethany Rader

Associate Professor

Bethany Rader

Lindegren Hall 34
Phone: 618-453-7821
Fax: 618-453-8036

Research Specialties: Beneficial Host-Microbe Interactions, Innate Immunology, Microbial Ecology and Systems Biology.


PhD, 2006, University of Oregon

Courses Taught:

MICR 302: Molecular Biology
MICR 460: Genetics of Bacteria and Viruses
MICR/MBMB 480: Molecular Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory

Research Interests:

All metazoans enter into complex and life-long interactions with bacterial communities that influence both partners in fundamental and profound ways.  The research in my lab focuses on evolutionarily conserved mechanisms for the establishment and maintenance of these beneficial host-associated bacterial communities.  My main focus is on the innate immune system, as the host mediator of beneficial symbiotic associations.  Shared by all eukaryotes, the innate immune system plays a role in self vs. non-self recognition and has been implicated in the regulation of endogenous bacterial communities, although these mechanisms are not well understood. My research aims are to identify microbial factors and innate immune mechanisms that both promote host-microbe specificity during colonization and the establishment of symbiosis, and underlay continued specificity over the duration of the association. I am using three different models to investigate these interactions.  First is the invertebrate, highly specific Euprymna scolopes/Vibrio fischeri (squid/vibrio) model system.  This model is simple, highly tractable and at the forefront of research on beneficial symbioses.  Second is the vertebrate zebrafish model.  Zebrafish have recently been established as a model for intestinal colonization by a complex community of bacteria, and among the many qualities that make it an excellent model is the opportunity for host genetic manipulation.  Finally, I am working to analyze immune proteins in human breast milk and infant fecal samples in an effort to understand how bacterial communities are shaped in the developing infant human intestine.


Articles in Professional Journals

  • Yang Y, Rader E, Peters-Carr M, Bent RC, Smilowitz JT, Guillemin K, Rader B. Ontogeny of alkaline phosphatase activity in infant intestines and breast milk. BMC pediatrics. 2019 Dec;19(1):2. Link
  • Rader, B. A. 2017 Alkaline Phosphatase, an Unconventional Immune Protein. Front. Immunol., 03 August 2017. Link
  • Rader, B. A. and Nyholm, S. V. Juvenile hemocyte response to symbiotic or non-symbiotic bacteria in the squid/Vibrio system. In preparation for submission to Cellular Microbiology. 
  • Rader, B. A. and McFall-Ngai, M. J. Characterization of a toll-like receptor in the squid/Vibrio symbiosis. In preparation for submission to Developmental and Comparative Immunology. 
  • Dunn, A., Rader, B., Stabb, E., Mandel, M. 2015. Regulation of bioluminescence in Photobacterium leiognathi strain KNH6. J. Bacteriol. J Bacteriol. 197(23):3676-85. doi: 10.1128/JB.00524-15. Link
  • Kremer, N., Philipp, E.E., Carpentier, M.C., Brennan, C.A., Kraemer, L., Altura, M.A., Augustin, R., Häsler, R., Heath-Heckman, E.A., Peyer, S.M., Schwartzman, J., Rader, B.A., Ruby, E.G., Rosenstiel, P. and McFall-Ngai, M.J. 2013. Initial symbiont contact orchestrates host-organ-wide transcriptional changes that prime tissue colonization. Cell Host Microbe 14:183-94. PubMed link
  • Rader, B.A. and Guillemin, K. 2013. Insights into the human microbiome from animal models. in: The Human Microbiota: How Microbial Communities Affect Health and Disease. Ed. David N. Fredricks. Wiley-Blackwell. Link
  • Rader, B.A and Nyholm, S.V. 2012. Host/Microbe interactions revealed through "omics" in the symbiosis between the Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes, and the bioluminescent bacterium, Vibrio fischeri. Biological Bulletin. 223(1):103-111. PubMed link
  • Fidopiastis P.M., Rader, B.A., Gerling, D.G., Gutierrez, N.A., Watkins, K.H., West Frey, M., Nyholm, S.V. and Whistler, C.A. 2012. Characterization of a Vibrio fischeri aminopeptidase and evidence for its influence on an early stage of squid colonization. J. Bacteriol. 194(15): 3995-4002. PubMed link
  • Collins, A.J., Schleicher, T.R., Rader, B.A. and Nyholm, S.V. 2012. Understanding the role of host hemocytes in a squid/Vibrio symbiosis using transcriptomics and proteomics. Front. Immunol. 3:91. PubMed link
  • Rader, B.A., Kremer, N., Apicella, M.A., Goldman, W. and McFall-Ngai, M. 2012. Modulation of symbiont lipid A signaling by host alkaline phosphatase in the squid-Vibrio symbiosis. mBio. 3(3) doi:10.1128/mBio.00093-12. PubMed link
  • Rader, B.A., Wreden, C., Hicks, K.G., Sweeney, E.G., Ottemann, K.M. and Guillemin, K. 2011. Helicobacter pylori perceives the quorum sensing molecule AI-2 as a chemorepellent via the chemoreceptor TlpB. Microbiology 157: 2445-2455. PubMed link
  • Rader, B.A., Campagna, S.R., Semmelhack, M.F., Bassler, B.L. and Guillemin, K. 2007. The quorum sensing molecule AI-2 regulates motility and flagellar morphogenesis in Helicobacter pylori. J. Bacteriol. 189: 6109-6117. PubMed link
  • Mouery, K., Rader, B. A., Gaynor, E. C. and Guillemin, K. 2006. The Helicobacter pylori stringent response is required for survival of stationary phase, acid, and aerobic shock. J. Bacteriol. 188: 5494-5500. PubMed link