Collaborative Research Center Roseobacter (TRR 51) – Sub-project A8

The DFG-funded Transregional Collaborative Research Center TRR 51 studies one of the most important groups of bacteria in the ocean. Roseobacter occur in virtually all marine ecosystems, often associated with phytoplankton blooms or attached on biotic and abiotic surfaces, and play an important role in global element cycles.

Sub-project A8 is entitled “Linking the exometabolome of selected pelagic organisms of the Roseobacter group to marine dissolved organic matter”. This project started with the second funding phase of the TRR51 in 2014 and continues through the third funding phase (2018-2021). The overarching goal of project A8 is to elucidate the influence of the Roseobacter group on marine DOM. Heterotrophic microorganisms in the ocean thrive on the diverse blend of organic compounds that make up marine DOM. Through uptake, transformation and release of organic compounds they change the composition of this DOM. Roseobacter organisms have broad metabolic potential and form a prominent and active component of bacterioplankton in the course of phytoplankton blooms. Therefore, Roseobacter are considered suitable model organisms to examine the role of bacteria in shaping the chemodiversity and functioning of DOM. Research approaches in this project span a wide range of complexity from controlled laboratory incubations to field studies covering major global oceans.

List of people involved:

Sarah Bercovici
Thorsten Dittmar
Jutta Niggemann
Helena Osterholz
Ferdinand Esser
Daniele del Corte
Melina Knoke


DFG, SFB Transregio TRR51 – Teilprojekt A8

Collaborators at ICBM:

Meinhard Simon
Gerrit Wienhausen
Thorsten Brinkhoff
Sijatha Srinavas
Janina Leinberger

Key publications

Osterholz, H., G. Singer, B. Wemheuer, R. Daniel, M. Simon, J. Niggemann, and T. Dittmar (2016) Deciphering associations between dissolved organic molecules and bacterial communities in a pelagic marine system. ISME Journal 10: 1717-1730.

Wienhausen G, Noriega-Ortega BE, Niggemann J, Dittmar T, and Simon M (2017) The exometabolome of two model strains of the Roseobacter group: a marketplace of microbial metabolites. Frontiers in Microbiology 8: 1985.

Noriega-Ortega BE, Wienhausen G, Mentges A, Dittmar T, Simon M, and Niggemann J (2019) Does the chemodiversity of bacterial exometabolomes sustain the chemodiversity of marine dissolved organic matter? Frontiers in Microbiology 10: 215.

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