Science retreat

Our yearly science retreat was in Puhrbach - Burgenland Oct 17-19, 2014. Inspired by the spacy decoration in our seminar room we discussed the past and brainstormed about the future.

new paper in Frontiers in Microbiology

There is a new review on the giant ciliate mutualism from chemosynthesis-based marine shallow waters

Monika Bright , Salvador Espada-Hinojosa, Ilias Lagkouvardos and Jean-Marie Volland

The giant ciliate Zoothamnium niveum and its thiotrophic epibiont Candidatus Thiobios zoothamnicoli: a model system to study interspecies cooperation, Frontiers in Microbiology, online, April 7, 2014; doi:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00145

Symbioses between chemoautotrophic sulfur-oxidizing (thiotrophic) bacteria and protists or animals are among the most diverse and prevalent in the ocean. They are extremely difficult to maintain in aquaria and no thiotrophic symbiosis involving an animal host has ever been successfully cultivated. In contrast, we have cultivated the giant ciliate Zoothamnium niveum and its obligate ectosymbiont Cand. Thiobios zoothamnicoli in small flow-through aquaria. This review provides an overview of the host and the symbiont and their phylogenetic relationships. We summarize our knowledge on the ecology, geographic distribution and life cycle of the host, on the vertical transmission of the symbiont, and on the cultivation of this symbiosis. We then discuss the benefits and costs involved in this cooperation compared with other thiotrophic symbioses and outline our view on the evolution and persistence of this byproduct mutualism.
journal article and download article as pdf file (open access)

Conferences summer 2013

Monika was at the Marine Molecular Ecology Gordon Conference in Hong Kong between August 11 – 16, 2013 and gave an invited lecture on the Riftia and Zoothamnium symbioses.







Salva, Monika, Jean Marie, Florian and Julia attended the 5th International Symposium on Chemosynthesis-Based Ecosystems in Victoria, Canada between August 18 – 23, 2013. Florian presented a poster, Julia gave a talk on some of her thesis results on the Riftia symbiosis, while Jean Marie presented the results of the whole TioCiM group on the Zoothamnium symbiosis

New FWF grant funded 2013

Transmission, maintenance and cell cycle in the Endoriftia - Riftia symbiosis: Immunodetection of symbiont effector proteins

PI: Andrea Nussbaumer

New FWF grant funded

Thiotrophic ciliate mutualism between Cand. Thiobios zoothamnicoli and Zoothamnium niveum – cooperation goes empirical. (Foto by courtesy of Thomas Buchholz)




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