Michael Sars Centre

Prof. Sebastian Fraune, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf

Prof. Sebastian Fraune, Head of the Zoology and Organismic Interactions Institute at the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf will present: "Nematostella vectensis: a marine model for understanding microbiome establishment and microbiome-mediated plasticity"

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Female anemone spawning eggs
Sebastian Fraune

Marine invertebrates are in constant contact with a vast number of highly diverse microbes in their environment. As such, they are ideal models for examining prokaryote-eukaryote interactions. The establishment of host-bacterial colonization during development is a fundamental process influencing the fitness of many organisms, but the factors controlling community membership and influencing the establishment of the microbial ecosystem during development are poorly understood. In our lab we investigate the general mechanisms involved in bacterial recognition and establishment in the marine model system Nematostella vectensis.In addition, we are investigating to contribution of bacterial colonizers to host acclimation and adaptation. We hypothesis that at the current pace of climate change, multicellular organisms are unlikely to be able to adapt to changing environmental conditions through genetic recombination and natural selection alone. Therefore, it is critical to understand alternative mechanisms that allow organisms to cope with rapid environmental changes. Here, we use the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, which has evolved the ability to survive in a wide range of temperatures and salinities, as a model to study the microbiota as a source of rapid adaptation.

Visit Prof. Sebastian Fraune's website.