BEEM Seminar: Marine Phototroph-Heterotroph Interactions Propelled by Cross-Feeding

4:00pm - 5:00pm / Tuesday 20th November 2018 / Venue: Lecture Theatre 1 Life Sciences Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Research / Series: BEEM Seminar
  • Suitable for: Suitable for staff and students with an interest in Behaviour, Evolution, Ecology and Microbiology
  • Admission: Free event
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Speaker: Joseph Christie-Oleza (University of Warwick)

Biological interactions underpin the functioning of marine ecosystems, be it via competition, predation, mutualism, or symbiosis processes. Microbial phototroph-heterotroph interactions propel the engine that results in the biogeochemical cycling of individual elements and are critical for understanding and modelling global ocean processes.

We performed long-term phototroph-heterotroph co-culture experiments using a broad range of model marine phototrophic microorganisms grown in combination with a diverse range of marine bacteria and determined the interactions that supported long-term growth. The high-throughput proteomic data generated from these co-cultures revealed mechanistic insights of the cross-feeding process that occurs in each one of these systems. For the first time, we challenge the general belief that marine phototrophs and heterotrophs compete for the same scarce nutrients and niche space, but instead suggest these organisms more likely benefit from each other because of their different levels of specialization and complementarity within long-term stable-state systems.