Systems Biology of Microorganisms

Systems biology is the study of the interactions between the components of biological systems

In our research group we use systems biology data to link the role of microorganisms to the (geo)chemistry of the environment and biotechnological applications. The systems biology techniques are applied to acidophilic microorganisms (optimum pH for growth <5), Baltic Sea anoxic sediments, and microorganisms inhabiting the deep biosphere. The information is combined with geochemistry data to understand their interactions within the environment.

We use the full range of systems biology techniques from:

  • Sequencing the whole genome of microorganisms (genomics) or the mixed microbial population in an environment (metagenomics).
  • Sequencing RNA transcripts from pure cultures and communities to identify which genes are switched on.
  • Bioinformatics to elucidate the metabolic potential encoded in the DNA.
Acidophilic biofilm
Acid mine drainage biofilm from the Kristineberg mine, Northern Sweden. The biofim is dominated by the low temperature adapted species, Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans.
2 16

Projects

Changes in microbial population and their functions as a response to environmental changes in Baltic Sea sediments

Sediment sampling, slicing and incubtion
The effect of environmental changes on the microbes present and their functions in Baltic Sea sediments and the overlying bottom waters will be studied in detail as a time series.

Microbial community responsible for acid and metal release from an acid sulfate soil

Microbial community responsible for acid and metal release from an acid sulfate soil
Molecular phylogenetic studies will be used to identify the microorganisms present in acid sulfate soils as well as to elucidate changes in the population at a Finnish test site in response to the addition of chemicals to mitigate the release of acid and metals.

Structure and function of microbial communities in the deep biosphere

Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, deep biosphere, RNA-sampling device,water sampling under in situ conditions
This is a Vetenskapsrådet, Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB), and Nova FoU funded project to link microbial systems biology data to the chemistry, geology, and hydrology of the deep biosphere to create a comprehensive model for understanding the role of microorganisms in natural groundwater systems.

VanProd - Innovation for Enhanced Production of Vanadium from Waste Streams in the Nordic Region

Molecular phylogenetic studies will be used to identify the microorganisms present in vanadium containing environments
Molecular phylogenetic studies will be used to identify the microorganisms present in vanadium containing environments and to investigate the role of microorganisms during vanadium extraction from ores plus solid and liquid waste products. Mining image courtesy of Ingar Walder.

More about our projects

Staff

Publications