Honorary doctorate for Michael Wagner
Michael received an honorary doctorate from Aalborg University (Denmark) in the framework of its 40 year jubilee for his distinguished efforts in the field of Natural Sciences. The certificate was presented to him in the presence of crown prince Frederik. Michael is also visiting professor at Aalborg University and has intensively collaborated with the group of Prof. Per Nielsen for 15 years.
 Aalborg University News (Danish)
"We all start out as scientists"
"Science is passion, vision, and life and none of that is necessarily synonymous with sacrifice", says Celine Lesaulnier who received a Back-to-Research Grant from the University of Vienna, supporting researchers who reduced or interrupted their academic research in order to care for their children.
 univ:view Magazin
Invading the nucleus of amoebae
In a new paper published in the ISME journal, Frederik Schulz, Matthias Horn and co-authors describe the discovery of a bacterial symbiont with an unusual intracellular niche. Within few hours after infection the bacteria have invaded the amoeba nucleus, where they mutliply with surprisingly little effect on host fitness. This microbial association is an ideal model system to further investigate evolution and molecular mechanisms of the rare phenomenon of intranuclear symbiosis.
 univ:view Magazin [German]
 Frankfurter Allgemeine [German] [German]
New Paper in The ISME Journal
If the biogeography of microorganisms in the environment is also determined by limitations in passive dispersal is still under debate. By using endospores of thermophilic bacteria in cold marine sediments as indicators, Albert Müller and Alexander Loy now show that marine microbial biogeography is indeed impacted by geographic dispersal barriers such as limited connectivity of local water masses to world ocean circulation.
 Press release [German]
 APA [German] [German]
 Kronen Zeitung [German]
New Paper in Nature Communications
The majority of bacteria possess a peptidoglycan sacculus consisting of a disaccharide backbone crosslinked by peptide chains, which is crucial for cell division, maintaining cell shape and resisting osmotic stress. Whether chlamydiae contain this structure has long been debated, but in an international collaboration Karin Aistleitner and Matthias Horn now show that the amoeba symbiont Protochlamydia amoebophila does synthesize peptidoglycan.
 Research Highlight in Nature Reviews Microbiology
 uni:view Magazn [German] [German]
Postdoctoral fellowships
"Interdisciplinary Cancer Research" (INDICAR)

Postdoctoral Fellowships for the Marie Curie project "Interdisciplinary Cancer Research" (INDICAR) at the University of Vienna are available. We welcome applications of postdocs interested in intestinal microbiota and cancer research.
Please contact David Berry or Alexander Loy.
Further information
Movember at DoME
Thirteen Bros and Sistas from DoME joined
this year's Movember movement.
Open Postdoc and PhD student positions in Microbial Experimental Evolution
Two positions are available in the group of Matthias Horn within the ERC StG Project EVOCHLAMY. The project comprises aspects of evolutionary biology, microbiology, genomics, and bioinformatics.
Job advertisement Postdoc [PDF]
Job advertisement PhD student[PDF]
Two new FWF projects
Dagmar Woebken and David Berry received funding for new projects from the Austrian Science Fund. Dagmar will be "Investigating the function of the ubiquitous Acidobacteria in terrestrial environments". David will work on "The boundary keepers: Intestinal mucus-associated microbes".
 FWF Project database
DoME at castle Riegersburg
The DoME team visited a famous chocolate factory in Styria and conquered castle Riegersburg.
New collaborative large-scale project with the JGI
Michael Wagner and Holger Daims together with members of the Joint Genome Institute will sequence and analyze the whole genome amplification (WGA) products of 100 nitrifier microcolonies from a single activated sludge sample. The microcolonies will be identified by Raman microspectroscopy and sorted by optical tweezing for WGA. The major goal of this project is to understand the evolutionary history and ecological consequences of nitrifier microdiversity. This project will be funded in the framework of the community science program (CSP) of the JGI.
 CSP Sequencing Plans 2014 of DOE JGI
EMI cover image
The cover of the November issue of Environmental Microbiology features an image taken by Barbara Sixt. The cover page shows chlamydiae infecting terrestrial isopods after recovery in insect cell lines and immunofluorescence staining. The corresponding article is entitled "Developmental cycle and host interaction of Rhabdochlamydia porcellionis, an intracellular parasite of terrestrial isopods".
New Master curriculum Microbial Ecology
We have revised and updated the master curriculum Microbial Ecology. Studying microbial ecology is now part of the master studies Molecular Microbiology, Microbial Ecology, and Immunobiology. The new master is held completely in English; students are trained in microbial ecology, symbiosis research, molecular biology & evolution, genetics, environmental chemistry, and bioinformatics.
 Program overview and courses
 Announcement [German]
New paper in the American Journal of Gastroenterology
Together with colleagues from the Medical University of Vienna, Alexander Loy and David Berry explored if and how fecal microbiota transplantation support microbial recolonization of the gut of ulcerative colitis patients. They show that temporal bacterial community dynamics and therapy success varied strongly among individual patients that received this unusual treatment.
 News release
 Der Standard [German]
 Ö1 radio report in "Dimensionen" [MP3] [German]
New Paper in PLoS Pathogens
Chlamydial elementary bodies have mostly been thought of as dormant, spore-like particles. However, Barbara Sixt, Alexander Siegl, Matthias Horn and colleagues now demonstrate metabolic activity in chlamydial elementary bodies that is linked to infectivity. Challenging textbook knowledge, these results suggest that the infective stage is much more dependent on its environment (and thus potentially vulnerable) than previously recognized.
 uni:view Magazin [German]
DOME partnership with
DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI)

The DOE JGI has recently launched the Emerging Technologies Opportunity Program (ETOP) in order to develop partnerships with groups developing new technologies that DOE JGI could establish to add value to the high throughput sequencing it currently carries out for its users. Six initiatives were chosen including a project proposed by Michael Wagner and Roman Stocker from the M.I.T. (Boston, USA) entitled "High-throughput sorting of microbial cells with specific functional traits for single cell genomics by combining labeling with heavy water, Raman microspectroscopy, microfluidics and flow cytometry". JGI will invest approximately $3.5 million over the next two years in this and the other ETOP projects.
 News release at DOE JGI website
New paper in FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Novel avenues are available for the analysis of intestinal ecophysiology to yield new insights into complex host-symbiotic microbiota-pathogen processes, such colonization resistance against infections. This review summarizes bioinformatics tools for revealing hypothetical interactions from metagenomic data and highlights the value of gnotobiotic mouse models and new single-cell approaches for testing these hypotheses and studying the in vivo physiology of the gut microbiota.
Stecher B, Berry D, Loy A. 2013. Colonization resistance and microbial ecophysiology: Using gnotobiotic mouse models and single-cell technology to explore the intestinal jungle. FEMS Microbiol. Rev. Early online publication.
Chinese Academy of Sciences honors Michael Wagner with 2013 Einstein Professorship
The Chinese Academy of Sciences has named Michael Wagner an Einstein Professor for 2013. As part of the professorship, Michael will visit several institutes in China early next year. He subsequently will host two Chinese scholars for several months at DoME.
 uni:view [German]
DoME to be member of the new Department of Microbiology
and Ecosystem Science

DoME joins forces with the Division of Terrestrial Ecosystem Research and the Division of Computational Systems Biology to form the new Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science. Michael Wagner will serve as head of the new department for the first two year term.
Dr. rer. nat. Barbara Sixt
Barbara successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled "Host-free metabolic activity of chlamydial symbionts of amoebae and their interaction with the cellular suicide machinery of metazoan host cells". The board of examiners included Jan Rupp, Thomas Decker, and Matthias Horn. Congratulations!
Federal Minister Töchterle visits DoME
Austrian Federal Minister for Science and Research Karlheinz Töchterle visited DoME today. Together with Eva Nowotny, head of the executive board of the University of Vienna, Heinz W. Engl, rector of the University of Vienna, Karl Schwaha, vice rector, and Horst Seidler, dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, he was introduced by the DoME team to current research at the department.
 Press report [German]
 uni:view [German]
New FWF project
Dagmar Woebken and Stephanie Eichorst received funding for a new project from the Austrian Science Fund. The project will focus on the active free-living diazotrophs in terrestrial ecosystems and the factors influencing their activity using a single cell approach.
 FWF Project database
New paper in PNAS
A DOME team encompassing David Berry, Alexander Loy, Arno Schintlmeister, Jochen Reichert, and Michael Wagner used NanoSIMS to identify mucus-degrading bacteria in the mouse gut. Together with collaborators providing expertise in IR-MS measurements and animal experiments, they showed that this important process is influenced also by non-degrading community members. The technique presented in this paper allows for the first time direct functional investigation of microbes in the gut on a single cell level.
 Article text
 Press report [German]
New papers in Environmental Microbiology and Frontiers in Microbiology
DOME teams around Michael Wagner and Holger Daims led two genome projects of nitrifying microorganisms representing lineages of global importance. The ammonium-oxidizing archaeon Ca. Nitrososphaera gargensis is the first member of the so-called soil group or group I.1b whose genome was sequenced. This analysis showed that these organisms are metabolically much more flexible than their marine counterparts. The second study reports on the genome of the major marine nitrite oxidizer Nitrospina gracilis and demonstrates that this widespread organism represents a novel bacterial phylum challenging its previous classification.
 Article on Nitrososphaera gargensis
 Article on Nitrospina gracilis
Acanthamoeba sp. trophozoite21.02.13
New paper in Genome Biology
In this international collaboration Ilias Lagkouvardos and Matthias Horn contributed the analysis of the impact of lateral gene transfer on the evolution of amoeboid genomes to suggest that in amoebae, lateral gene transfer is reflective of trophic strategy and driven by the selective pressure of new ecological niches.
 Article text
Michael Wagner elected as fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology
The American Academy of Microbiology is the leadership group of the American Society for Microbiology, the world's oldest and largest life-science organization. Academy fellows are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. As a fellow, Michi joins a group of eminent leaders in the field of microbiology recognized for their excellence, originality, creativity and exemplary careers in basic and applied research, teaching, clinical and public health, industry or government service. The academy relies on fellows for authoritative advice and information on critical issues in microbiology, from responding to congressional inquiries to organizing meetings and workshops.
 Homepage of the American Academy of Microbiology
New daime version released
daime is our digital image analysis and visualization software for analyzing 2D and 3D microscopy datasets of fluorescence- labeled microorganisms. Version 2.0 is a major update with many new features and improvements.
 daime website
News archive