David Milner

I am interested in understanding how genomic events can affect how organisms interact with the environment, or with other organisms. I am currently using high-throughput RNAi approaches to dissect a nascent endosymbiotic relationship between a protist host, Paramecium bursaria, and its symbiotic intracellular algae, a project which aims to identify the cellular functions that underpin this interaction. More broadly, I am interested in the evolutionary consequences of horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotes, and in understanding how recipient lineages evolve to accommodate HGT acquisitions.I support a number of projects in the lab, giving advice and assisting with molecular biology techniques, and training students. I am also keen to support work experience students, and I have regularly hosted Nuffield Research placement students.

Selected Publications

  • DivIVA controls progeny morphology and diverse ParA proteins regulate cell division or gliding motility in Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus. Milner et al., 2020, Frontiers in Microbiology, http://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.00542
  • A novel method to determine antibiotic sensitivity in Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus reveals a DHFR-dependent natural trimethoprim resistance. Marine, Milner, Lambert, Sockett, Martinus Pos. 2020, Scientific Reports, http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-62014-x
  • Controlled sampling of ribosomally active protistan diversity in sediment-surface layers identifies putative players in the marine carbon sink. Rodríguez-Martínez, Leonard, Milner, Sudek, Conway, Moore, Hudson, Mahé, Keeling, Santoro, Worden, Richards. 2020, ISME J, doi.org/10.1038/s41396-019-0581-y
  • Dual predation by bacteriophage and Bdellovibrio can eradicate E. coli prey in situations where single predation cannot. Hobley, Summers, Till, Milner, Atterbury, Stroud, Capeness, Gray, Leidenroth, Lambert, Connerton, Twycross, Baker, Tyson, Kreft, Sockett. 2020, J Bacteriol, doi.org/10.1128/JB.00629-19
  • Unexpected mitochondrial genome diversity revealed by targeted single-cell genomics. Wideman, Monier, Rodriguez, Leonard, Cook, Poirier, Maguire, Milner, Irwin, Moore, Santoro, Keeling, Worden, Richards. 2020, Nature Microbiology, doi.org/10.1038/s41564-019-0605-4
  • A single-cell genome reveals diplonemid-like ancestry of kinetoplastid mitochondrial gene structure. Wideman, Lax, Leonard, Milner, Simpson, Richards. 2019, Philos. Trans. Royal Soc. B, doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0100
  • Environment-dependent fitness gains can be driven by horizontal gene transfer of transporter-encoding genes. Milner et al., 2019, PNAS, doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1815994116
  • Ras GTPase-like protein MglA, a controller of bacterial social-motility in Myxobacteria, has evolved to control bacterial predation by Bdellovibrio. Milner et al., 2014, PLoS Genetics, doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1004253

Hobbies & Interests

I enjoy walking in the Lake District and have 170 Wainwrights left to climb. I am also a keen runner and am well on my way to my 100-runs Parkrun t-shirt!