Krill Gut Microbiome project - KiGuMi

Krill Gut Microbiome project - KiGuMi

The Krill Gut Microbiome project (KiGuMi) explores the microbial diversity contained within the digestive tract of Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba.  Krill contain unique enzymatic equipment which allows for the highly effective hydrolytic breakdown of complex substrates. The biomass estimate of E. superba in the Southern Ocean is approximately 379 million tons and corresponds to 300-400 trillion individuals, making Antarctic krill one of the largest biomasses of any wild-living species.  The volume of an average individual’s digestive tract is estimated to be 100 ul, which means the entire population of krill contains an enormous reaction space (up to 8 x 107 m3) for the turnover of complex organic matter and for the potential to discover relevant enzymes for biotechnology. However, the microbial community and metabolic pathways occurring within krill’s digestive tract have yet to be studied in detail. KiGuMi scientists explore the microbial diversity of dissected digestive tract tissues (stomach, digestive gland, and hind gut), establish the first metaOMICS for this system, and discover hydrolytic enzymes and microbes that potentially have biotechnical applications.

Participants
Prof. Dr. Ralf Rabus (ICBM) (Principal investigator)
Prof. Dr. Heinz Wilkes (ICBM)
Prof. Dr. Bettina Meyer (AWI/ICBM/HIFMB)
Dr. Kai Sohn (Fraunhofer Institute IGB)
Sara Driscoll (AWI)

Cooperations
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Sales, University of Padua, Italy

Duration
2020-2023

Funding
German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

(Changed: 2021-05-10)