IOW Logo

FunSeq: Cryptic cross-kingdom interactions: The impact of fungal parasitism on phytoplankton–bacteria interactions revealed via genome and transcriptome profiling

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2024
Project manager:
Isabell Klawonn
DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala

The growth of phytoplankton as well as crucial phytoplankton–bacteria interactions can be distorted by fungal parasites, with unknown regulatory mechanisms on a molecular level. To resolve those mechanisms, we will use OMICS on two model pathosystems. The 1st phytoplankton–fungal parasite system is maintained in our laboratory and its genome has been sequenced in our ongoing work. It will thus allow us to conduct in-depth metagenomic and transcriptomic profiling during fungal parasitism. The 2nd system is novel, as it has been isolated by our group very recently from the coastal ocean. We aim to reconstruct the draft genome of this first marine model system of its kind, to initiate future in-depth studies of parasitism in microbial communities. Our overarching question is: How do parasitic (fungal) infections on phytoplankton modulate functional and metabolic capacities, as well as gene expression patterns within phytoplankton–fungi–bacteria associations in aquatic environments?