Benedikt Heyerhoff



PhD candidate

Benedikt Heyerhoff

Research interests

My project will focus on role of roseophages for benthic roseobacters, their abundance in marine sediments, genetic composition and lifestyle. Using the genomic information of previously isolated benthic roseobacters the project aims to identify the presence of prophages. Phage-induction experiments will be conducted to determine characteristic parameters for phage-host interactions. Induced roseophages will be isolated and sequenced. Host genomes will be specifically screened for roseophage genes that are beneficial to the fitness of the host, while being presumably unimportant to roseophages. Furthermore, we will go back to the environment, to detect roseophage-specific signatures in metagenomes constructed from Pacific sediments and to quantify their distribution in original sediment samples by qPCR using phage-specific primers. Worldwide distribution of phages will be investigated by comparing known phage sequences by matching them to novel phage isolates.

Academic vita


Since April 2019 PhD student (ICBM Oldenburg)


Transregional Collaborative Research Centre (TTR 51) - Roseobacter - A2


Oct. 2016 – Mar. 2019 Microbiology Master of Science (ICBM, Oldenburg)


“Isolation and genomic characterization of Roseophages from the North Sea”
Oct. 2013 – Sept. 2016

Biology Bachelor of Science (University of Oldenburg)


Der Einfluss von Exometaboliten und Vitaminbauteilen auf das Wachstum von Mikroorganismen”


Virus induction via mitomycin C, analysis of microbial diversity (DNA and RNA extraction, PCR, amplicon and genome sequence analysis), comparative genomics,  metagenomic analyses of viruses, Isolation, cultivation and characterization of marine aerobic bacteria, physiological testings, sampling of sediment cores, microscopy ...


Zucker F, Bischoff V, Ndela EO, Heyerhoff B, Poehlein A, Freese H, ... & Moraru C (2022) New Microviridae isolated from Sulfitobacter reveals two cosmopolitan subfamilies of ssDNA phages infecting marine and terrestrial Alphaproteobacteria. Virus Evolution, 8, veac070,

Heyerhoff B, Engelen B, & Bunse C. (2022). Auxiliary metabolic gene functions in pelagic and benthic viruses of the Baltic Sea. Frontiers in microbiology, 13. 

Heinrichs ME, Heyerhoff B, Arslan-Gatz BS, Seidel M, Niggemann J, Engelen B. (2022) Deciphering the virus signal within the marine dissolved organic matter pool. Frontiers in Microbiology, 1, 

Engelen B, Nguyen T, Heyerhoff B, Kalenborn S, Sydow K, Tabai H, Peterson RN, Wegener G, Teske A (2021) Microbial Communities of Hydrothermal Guaymas Basin Surficial Sediment Profiled at 2 Millimeter-Scale Resolution, Front. Mar. Sci., 12, 1664-302X,

Degenhardt J, Merder J, Heyerhoff B, Simon H, Engelen B, Waska H (2021) Cross-Shore and DEPth Zonations in Bacterial Diversity Are Linked to Age and Source of Dissolved Organic Matter across the Intertidal Area of a Sandy Beach. Microorganisms, 9, 1720,

Heyerhoff B, Nguyen T, Hillebrand H, Rhiel E,. (2019) On the morphology and predatory behavior of the dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina exposed to reduced salinity. European journal of protistology, 68, 37-47. 10.1016/j.ejop.2019.01.004 

Contributions to conferences

ISME 2022 Lausanne, Switzerland: Auxiliary metabolic gene functions in pelagic and benthic viruses of the Baltic Sea Heyerhoff B., Engelen B., & Bunse C.

VAAM 2019 Mainz, Germany: Large scale isolation of bacteriophages infecting marine Rhodobacteraceae V. Bischoff, B. Heyerhoff, A. Bögeholz, F. Zucker (Oldenburg/DE)A. Poehlein (Göttingen/DE), M. Simon, C. Moraru (Oldenburg/DE)

VAAM 2019 Mainz, Germany: Ascunsovirinae, a new Microviridae subfamily, infects alphaproteobacteria EMV06 from terrestrial and marine environments F. Zucker , V. Bischoff, B. Heyerhoff (Oldenburg/DE)A. Poehlein (Göttingen/DE), S. Roux (Walnut Creek, CA/US) F. Enault (Clermont-Ferrand/FR), M. Simon, C. Moraru (Oldenburg/DE)

Research cruises

2017 RV Sonne Expedition SO254

Functional diversity of bacterial communities and the metabolome in the water column, sediment and in sponges in the southwest Pacific around New Zealand (PoriBacNewZ)

(Changed: 19 Dec 2022)  |