The microbial biofilm community on plastic

In order to investigate the microbial biofilm formation on plastic in the Baltic Sea, we carried out an in situ exposure experiment. Plastic polymers and biological control samples were incubated for 2 weeks along a transect, with the most Southern point being located in the river Warnow, East of Rostock, and the most Northern point being located in the Baltic Sea, close to Heiligendamm. Composition of the biofilms as well as possible variation with regard to location and surface will be analyzed using 16S/18S amplicon sequencing, metagenomic and metaproteomic analyses, cultivation approaches and microscopy-based methods. The results of our experiment will provide insights into the identity and ecological role of the plastic colonizing community in the Baltic Sea.
Impressions from sample collection and processing (images by S. Oberbeckmann and J. Rudolph)