The Formas research council
1 Jan 2018-31 Dec 2020
(Department of Biology and Environmental Science, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences)
More about the project
Picocyanobacteria are tiny (<2 µm) photosynthetic bacteria in the oceans. They fix carbon dioxide and form the base of the marine food chain. They are distributed in aquatic environments world-wide and are composed of genetically diverse subgroups. In nutrient rich coastal and temperate waters the picocyanobacterium Synechococcus reaches high abundances, but knowledge about the niche adaptations and activity of the diverse sublineages has yet to be resolved.
In this project I will investigate the abundance, seasonal distribution, and carbon fixation activity of Synechococcus sublineages in a dynamic coastal ecosystem.
To resolve the ecological niche partitioning of co-occurring sublineages, phylogenetic and functional gene targets will be sequenced at high resolution. The cell-specific carbon fixation activity of distinct sublineages within a natural community will be assessed using cell-sorting. Finally, to investigate the metabolic and cellular functions of key sublineages gene expression profiling will be used.
The proposed project will provide new insights into the ecophysiological diversity and activity of picocyanobacteria in coastal waters. This information will be significant for understanding and predicting the ecological response of picocyanobacteria to climate change on a global scale.
The project is connected to Linnaeus University Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial model Systems. It is part of the research in the Marine phytoplankton ecology and applications research group and also has connections to the Ecochange: Ecosystem dynamics in the Baltic Sea in a changing climate perspective research group.