Project Micro Assembly

Microbial consortia fulfill important functions for human health, industrial biotechnology and global climate regulation. It is often believed that the species and functional composition of microbial communities is controlled by neutral as well as deterministic assembly processes. This project aims at obtaining a systematic understanding of the relative impact of these processes depending on the community’s taxonomic diversity, the degree of functional specialization of individual taxa, and the scale of ecological organization. To this aim the project makes use of an unique system: microbial consortia that have recently been discovered within tiny water droplets at Pitch Lake, the world’s largest natural oil seep located in Trinidad and Tobago. These microbiomes are ideal for the study of community assembly as they represent naturally replicated communities that have evolved for a long period in isolation and within a spatially and temporally homogeneous environment. The project combines 16S community profiling and metagenomics with numerical simulations to pursue its goals.

For more information contact Lisa Voskuhl.

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Prof. Dr. Rainer Meckenstock

Dr. Verena Brauer


Lisa Voskuhl