• We seek to understand

    the role of microorganisms in Earth's nutrient cycles

    and as symbionts of other organisms

  • Cycling of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur

    affect the health of our planet

  • Ancient invaders -

    Bacterial symbionts of amoebae

    and the evolution of the intracellular lifestyle

  • The human microbiome -

    Our own social network of microbial friends

  • Single cell techniques offer new insights

    into the ecology of microbes

  • Apply for the DOME International PhD/PostDoc program

Dome News

Latest publications

Activity and community structures of sulfate-reducing microorganisms in polar, temperate and tropical marine sediments

Temperature has a fundamental impact on the metabolic rates of microorganisms and strongly influences microbial ecology and biogeochemical cycling in the environment. In this study, we examined the catabolic temperature response of natural communities of sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) in polar, temperate, and tropical marine sediments. In short-term sediment incubation experiments with 35S-sulfate, we demonstrated how the cardinal temperatures for sulfate reduction correlate with mean annual sediment temperatures, indicating specific thermal adaptations of the dominant SRM in each of the investigated ecosystems. The community structure of putative SRM in the sediments, as revealed by pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicons and phylogenetic assignment to known SRM taxa, consistently correlated with in situ temperatures, but not with sediment organic carbon concentrations or C:N ratios of organic matter. Additionally, several species-level SRM phylotypes of the class Deltaproteobacteria tended to co-occur at sites with similar mean annual temperatures, regardless of geographic distance. The observed temperature adaptations of SRM imply that environmental temperature is a major controlling variable for physiological selection and ecological and evolutionary differentiation of microbial communities.

  • Robador A, Müller AL, Sawicka JE, Berry D, Hubert CRJ, Loy A, Jørgensen BB, Brüchert V
2015 - ISME Journal, in press

Draft genome sequence of 'Candidatus Hepatoplasma crinochetorum Ps' – a bacterial symbiont in the hepatopancreas of the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber

'Candidatus Hepatoplasma crinochetorum Ps' is an extracellular symbiont residing in the hepatopancreas of the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber. Its genome is highly similar to that of the close relative 'Cand. Hepatoplasma crinochetorum Av' from Armadillidium vulgare. However, instead of a CRISPR/Cas system it encodes a type I restriction modification system.

  • Collingro A, Kostanjšek R, Toenshoff ER, Schulz F, Schuster L, Domann D, Horn M
2015 - Genome Announc., in press

A Rickettsiales symbiont of amoebae with ancient features

The Rickettsiae comprise intracellular bacterial symbionts and pathogens infecting diverse eukaryotes. Here, we provide a detailed characterization of 'Candidatus Jidaibacter acanthamoeba', a rickettsial symbiont of Acanthamoeba. The bacterium establishes the infection in its amoeba host within 2 h where it replicates within vacuoles. Higher bacterial loads and accelerated spread of infection at elevated temperatures were observed. The infection had a negative impact on host growth rate, although no increased levels of host cell lysis were seen. Phylogenomic analysis identified this bacterium as member of the Midichloriaceae. Its 2.4 Mb genome represents the largest among Rickettsiales and is characterized by a moderate degree of pseudogenization and a high coding density. We found an unusually large number of genes encoding proteins with eukaryotic-like domains such as ankyrins, leucine-rich repeats and tetratricopeptide repeats, which likely function in host interaction. There are a total of three divergent, independently acquired type IV secretion systems, and 35 flagellar genes representing the most complete set found in an obligate intracellular Alphaproteobacterium. The deeply branching phylogenetic position of 'Candidatus Jidaibacter acanthamoeba' together with its ancient features place it closely to the rickettsial ancestor and helps to better understand the transition from a free-living to an intracellular lifestyle.

  • Schulz F, Martijn J, Wascher F, Lagkouvardos I, Kostanjšek R, Ettema TJ, Horn M
2015 - Environ Microbiol, in press

Lecture series

Mass spectral imaging of metabolites and proteins in host-microbe interactions

Manuel Liebeke
MPI für Marine Mikrobiologie
05.03.2015
12:00 h
Seminar room

Metaproteomics for sub-surface habitats and the intestinal gut microbiota

Dr. Nico Jehmlich
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig Germany
29.01.2015
12:00 h
Seminar room DOME

First deployment of the European mobile laboratory in the course of the West-African Ebola outbreak

Kilian Stoecker
Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology
03.11.2014
12:00 h
Seminar room