Connecting individual eukaryotic cells with friends and enemies in the sea

  • Datum: 11.06.2020
  • Uhrzeit: 11:00 - 11:00
  • Vortragende(r): Prof. Alexandra Worden, GEOMAR
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute; University of Kiel & GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
  • Ort: virtuelle Plattform
  • Gastgeber: Paul Rainey
Connecting individual eukaryotic cells with friends and enemies in the sea

We all know by now that unicellular eukaryotes (protists) are incredibly diverse. But what does this mean in terms of metabolisms and interactions in the sea? Genome sequencing and culture-based studies have brought us a long way in terms of characterizing evolutionary relationships and physiology of key unicellular eukaryotic algae – important advancements given that these algae are collectively responsible for ~50% of global CO2 fixation. With nascent transformation systems in hand, a wealth of new avenues have opened for characterizing how protists respond to changing environmental conditions, but what about their interactions in nature? These are difficult to address because of challenges behind capturing the three dimensional world of a protist at appropriate visualization scales. We developed at-sea single-eukaryotic-cell sorting approaches that have facilitated studies of the evolutionary biology of wild uncultured taxa in the oceans. These have been honed and combined with studies employing stable isotope probing to understand who is interacting with whom and the nature of the interaction. By applying these innovations in the field, we are exposing the microbiomes of protists as well as a suite of interactions with associated shifts in metabolism that are not yet represented in food web models. Here, we will discuss new discoveries and methodologies for elucidating the mechanistic underpinnings of marine microbial interactions.

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