NEW FWF PROJECT

Environmental impact on giant ciliate mutualism

Environmental impact on giant ciliate mutualism
One of the few mutualisms with only a single bacterial symbiont is the association between the giant colonial ciliate Zoothamnium niveum and the thiotrophic symbiont Candidatus Thiobios zoothamnicoli from shallow-water wood falls. The overall goal is to unravel how mutualistic partners govern their cooperative behavior in a variable environment to gain insights into the maintenance over ecological time scales. We will study in a suite of in situ and in vivo experiments how fidelity between partners is maintained when sulfide lacks on ecological time scales - during short time fluctuations, during annual cycles, and during wood degradation.

PI Monika Bright