Transregional Collaborative Research Center (Transregio-SFB) Roseobacter
Project C5: Systems biology of the environmental adaptation of Dinoroseobacter shibae
The goal of this project is to obtain a theoretical understanding of two important adaptation strategies: The use of light as an additional energy source, and phenotypic heterogeneity of an isogenic population. Phenotypical heterogeneity was shown in roseobacters for bacteriochlorophyll synthesis, cell morphology, mode of cell division, flagella formation, type IV secretion, and synthesis of the gene transfer agent. In D. shibae it is under the control of quorum sensing, and non-heterogeneous mutants are available. Heterogeneity can also be induced by cultivation conditions. Selection for different phenotypes will be studied in different experimental systems (biofilm, alga-bacterium interaction, protozoan grazing) to identify potential underlying bet-hedging strategies. Evolutionary models will be constructed from these data.