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Bremen, Germany

The Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology is located in Bremen, Germany. It was founded in 1992, almost a year after the foundation of its sister institute, the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology at Marburg. In 1996, the institute moved into new buildings at the campus of the University of Bremen. It is one of 80 institute in the Max Planck Society . Currently, the institute consists of three departments with several associated research groups:Microbiology )Biogeochemistry Molecular Ecology Additionally, three independent Max-Planck research groups and a joint research group between the Max-Planck-Society and the Helmholtz-Society reside in the institute. Wikipedia.


Stief P.,Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology | Stief P.,University of Southern Denmark
Biogeosciences | Year: 2013

Invertebrate animals that live at the bottom of aquatic ecosystems (i.e., benthic macrofauna) are important mediators between nutrients in the water column and microbes in the benthos. The presence of benthic macrofauna stimulates microbial nutrient dynamics through different types of animal-microbe interactions, which potentially affect the trophic status of aquatic ecosystems. This review contrasts three types of animal-microbe interactions in the benthos of aquatic ecosystems: (i) ecosystem engineering, (ii) grazing, and (iii) symbiosis. Their specific contributions to the turnover of fixed nitrogen (mainly nitrate and ammonium) and the emission of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide are evaluated. Published data indicate that ecosystem engineering by sediment-burrowing macrofauna stimulates benthic nitrification and denitrification, which together allows fixed nitrogen removal. However, the release of ammonium from sediments is enhanced more strongly than the sedimentary uptake of nitrate. Ecosystem engineering by reef-building macrofauna increases nitrogen retention and ammonium concentrations in shallow aquatic ecosystems, but allows organic nitrogen removal through harvesting. Grazing by macrofauna on benthic microbes apparently has small or neutral effects on nitrogen cycling. Animal-microbe symbioses provide abundant and distinct benthic compartments for a multitude of nitrogen-cycle pathways. Recent studies reveal that ecosystem engineering, grazing, and symbioses of benthic macrofauna significantly enhance nitrous oxide emission from shallow aquatic ecosystems. The beneficial effect of benthic macrofauna on fixed nitrogen removal through coupled nitrification-denitrification can thus be offset by the concurrent release of (i) ammonium that stimulates aquatic primary production and (ii) nitrous oxide that contributes to global warming. Overall, benthic macrofauna intensifies the coupling between benthos, pelagial, and atmosphere through enhanced turnover and transport of nitrogen. © Author(s) 2013. Source


Sulfate reduction has been suggested as a mechanism to induce precipitation of calcium and magnesium carbonates in marine sediments and microbial mats through most of Earth's history. However, sulfate reduction also causes a drop in pH that favors dissolution rather than precipitation of carbonates. Model results obtained in this study show that in modern seawater, modern hypersaline water, and assumed Precambrian alkaline seawater, sulfate reduction initially lowers the saturation of carbonates due to a rapid decrease in pH. With continuing sulfate reduction, the pH stabilizes between 6.5 and 7, and carbonate saturation slowly increases as a result of increasing dissolved inorganic carbon concentration. However, sulfate reduction in surface microbial mats is not suffi cient to cause such an increase in saturation. With increasing salinity, sulfate reduction becomes even less effi cient to induce carbonate precipitation. In an alkaline Precambrian ocean, where large amounts of carbonate were formed, induction through sulfate reduction was entirely ineffective. Other metabolic pathways or abiotic factors must be responsible for inducing carbonate formation in microbial mats through Earth's history. © 2013 Geological Society of America. Source


Ruff S.E.,Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology
PloS one | Year: 2013

The methane-emitting cold seeps of Hikurangi margin (New Zealand) are among the few deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems of the Southern Hemisphere known to date. Here we compared the biogeochemistry and microbial communities of a variety of Hikurangi cold seep ecosystems. These included highly reduced seep habitats dominated by bacterial mats, partially oxidized habitats populated by heterotrophic ampharetid polychaetes and deeply oxidized habitats dominated by chemosynthetic frenulate tubeworms. The ampharetid habitats were characterized by a thick oxic sediment layer that hosted a diverse and biomass-rich community of aerobic methanotrophic Gammaproteobacteria. These bacteria consumed up to 25% of the emanating methane and clustered within three deep-branching groups named Marine Methylotrophic Group (MMG) 1-3. MMG1 and MMG2 methylotrophs belong to the order Methylococcales, whereas MMG3 methylotrophs are related to the Methylophaga. Organisms of the groups MMG1 and MMG3 are close relatives of chemosynthetic endosymbionts of marine invertebrates. The anoxic sediment layers of all investigated seeps were dominated by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) of the ANME-2 clade and sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria. Microbial community analysis using Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA) showed that the different seep habitats hosted distinct microbial communities, which were strongly influenced by the seep-associated fauna and the geographic location. Despite outstanding features of Hikurangi seep communities, the organisms responsible for key ecosystem functions were similar to those found at seeps worldwide. This suggests that similar types of biogeochemical settings select for similar community composition regardless of geographic distance. Because ampharetid polychaetes are widespread at cold seeps the role of aerobic methanotrophy may have been underestimated in seafloor methane budgets. Source


Buttigieg P.L.,Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology
Briefings in Bioinformatics | Year: 2010

Using live presentation to communicate the interdisciplinary and abstract content of bioinformatics to its educationally diverse studentship is a sizeable challenge. This review collects a number of perspectives on multimedia presentation, visual communication and pedagogy. The aim is to encourage educators to reflect on the great potential of live presentation in facilitating bioinformatics education. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press. Source


Dyksma S.,Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology
ISME Journal | Year: 2016

Marine sediments are the largest carbon sink on earth. Nearly half of dark carbon fixation in the oceans occurs in coastal sediments, but the microorganisms responsible are largely unknown. By integrating the 16S rRNA approach, single-cell genomics, metagenomics and transcriptomics with 14C-carbon assimilation experiments, we show that uncultured Gammaproteobacteria account for 70–86% of dark carbon fixation in coastal sediments. First, we surveyed the bacterial 16S rRNA gene diversity of 13 tidal and sublittoral sediments across Europe and Australia to identify ubiquitous core groups of Gammaproteobacteria mainly affiliating with sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. These also accounted for a substantial fraction of the microbial community in anoxic, 490-cm-deep subsurface sediments. We then quantified dark carbon fixation by scintillography of specific microbial populations extracted and flow-sorted from sediments that were short-term incubated with 14C-bicarbonate. We identified three distinct gammaproteobacterial clades covering diversity ranges on family to order level (the Acidiferrobacter, JTB255 and SSr clades) that made up >50% of dark carbon fixation in a tidal sediment. Consistent with these activity measurements, environmental transcripts of sulfur oxidation and carbon fixation genes mainly affiliated with those of sulfur-oxidizing Gammaproteobacteria. The co-localization of key genes of sulfur and hydrogen oxidation pathways and their expression in genomes of uncultured Gammaproteobacteria illustrates an unknown metabolic plasticity for sulfur oxidizers in marine sediments. Given their global distribution and high abundance, we propose that a stable assemblage of metabolically flexible Gammaproteobacteria drives important parts of marine carbon and sulfur cycles.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 12 February 2016; doi:10.1038/ismej.2015.257. © 2016 International Society for Microbial Ecology Source

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