Host-microbe interactions in the green alga Caulerpa

Caulerpa is a genus of green algae that consist of more than 70 species living in tropical and subtropical marine waters around the world. Although Caulerpa has plant-like roots, stalks, and leaves, it is a giant coenocyte with multiple nuclei, mitochondria and symbiotic bacteria (see the following video to get an impression of Caulerpa:

We will try to answer the following questions: What is the function of the Caulerpa microbiome? How are these microbiomes changing with climate change and what are the consequences for the algal host?

The role of these symbiotic bacteria, however, is a real mystery. In this project we will use a top-down systems biology approach to compare host-microbe interactions in different Caulerpa species, such as Caulerpa lentillifera, C. racemosa (see photo), and C. prolifera.

Scientists involved in this research:

Anastasia Barilo
Susanne Wilken
Evelien Jongepier
Harro Bouwmeester
Gerard Muijzer

Funded by

University of Amsterdam Research Priority Area ‘System Biology’

In cooperation with

Aschwin Engelen & Tania Aires (CCMAR, Faro, Portugal)
Asuka Arimoto (Hiroshima University, Japan)
Iris Hendriks & Ramon Rossello Mora (IMEDEA, Mallorca, Spain)