Phyto-bacteria interactions

Phytoplankton are responsible for up to half of the oxygen production on the planet. A lot of this newly fixed carbon passes through bacterial respiration, giving a key step in cycling in the ocean. Metabolites released from phytoplankton are the ocean currencies, and this project aims to identify and quantify this important step. Under various environmental factors, e.g. elevated CO2 and temperature, in addition to nutrients conditions, we aim to look closer into how this will affect the metabolite composition in the phytoplankton as well as released and assimilated by bacteria.

Research questions to be tackled:

  • How to endo- and exometabolite composition vary with growth stages of the diatom Thalassiosira?
  • How do gene expression (transcriptomics) change with growth stages of the diatom Thalassiosira?
  • How does diel cycles affect metabolite composition and gene expression in the diatom Thalassiosira?
  • How does metabolites and gene expression change in the presence of bacteria?
  • How does metabolites and gene expression change in elevated temperatures?

Publications related to the project:

Uchimiya M, Schroer W, Olofsson M, Edison AS, Moran MA. Diel investments in phytoplankton metabolite production influenced by associated heterotrophic bacteria. Preprint available at BioRxiv.