Host-microbe interactions in seagrasses

Seagrasses are marine flowering plants that play an important role in coastal ecosystems by stabilizing sediments, providing food and shelter for animals and recycling nutrients. Like other plants, seagrasses live intimately with both beneficial and unfavourable microorganisms. Although an enormous amount of research has been done on the microbiomes of terrestrial plants, little is known about host-microbe interactions in seagrasses.

Here we use state-of-the-art next generation sequencing techniques to determine the species composition of seagrass microbiomes and to unravel the metabolic pathways of core community members with the aim to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the interactions between plant host and its microbiome.

Comparison of microbial communities in the rhizosphere of (A) Zostera marina, (B) Zostera noltii, and (C) Cymodocea nodosa. (D) Microbial community composition in the rhizosphere of the three seagrasses, the bulk sediment (Sed) and seawater (SW), (E) Principal component analysis (PCA) of microbial communities, (F) PCA of microbial communities of seagrasses from Portugal (ZmPt & ZnPt) and France (ZmFr & ZnFr).

Scientists involved in this research

Catarina Cúcio
Gerard Muyzer

Funded by

European Union (MaCuMBA, ASSEMBLE 8/9, AQUACOSM)

In cooperation with

Aschwin Engelen & Tania Aires (CCMAR, Faro, Portugal)
Erik Manders (LCAM, UvA)
Martin Wahl (GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany)
Iris Hendriks & Ramon Rossello Mora (IMEDEA, Mallorca, Spain)