Dr. Julia Polzin
My current research focuses on the mutualistic association of the lucinid Loripes lucinalis and its sulfur-oxidizing bacterial symbiont harbored in the host’s gills. Loripes lucinalis reproduces in an unusual way using gelatinous egg masses. We are especially interested in the host-symbiont life cycle and want to identify and characterize the symbiont microdiversity within the egg masses and metabolic processes throughout the host’s life and host-symbiont interactions by applying proteomics and transcriptomics. Further we want to gain insights into the biogeography, connectivity and population structure of the symbiont from lucinid populations in coastal seagrass sediments. By applying different microscopic and molecular techniques we want to assess the long-term evolutionary stability of the association.