Microorganisms are never solitary and have always engaged in various forms of interaction, such as competition, cooperation, and communication. These interactions have a significant effect on the microorganisms involved and their environment.
In marine ecosystems, the interactions between microalgae and heterotrophic bacteria shape nutrient fluxes and the long-term burial of biogenic material in the ocean. These interactions have been occurring for millions of years.
To better understand the mechanisms behind algal-bacterial interactions and their role in the environment, our research group develops reduced model systems with adjustable complexity. By studying these model systems, we can gain insight into molecular and genetic aspects of algal-bacterial ecophysiology. To better understand the details of these interactions, we constantly develop genetic tools in marine bacteria. Our model systems are relevant for research at the intersection of microbiology and Earth sciences and offer opportunities to investigate past environments.
We believe that exciting discoveries await when interactions are studied in context. Therefore, we study our different model systems from various perspectives, trying to mimic natural conditions that microorganisms have evolved with.
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