2: Biodiversity and DNA-Taxonomy of Algae and Cyanobacteria in Calcifying Biofilms

Principal investigator and Co-PIs

Project summary

Major goals of the project are the assessment of algal and cyanobacterial biodiversity of tufa biofilms on a genotype level, the establishment of axenic cultures of selected algae as a basis for exopolymer analysis and experimental mineralization, as well as the analysis of spatial distribution patterns of the algae within the biofilms.

In order to precisely determine algal genotypes and their phylogenetic variety, results from rDNA sequencing of cultivated strains and results from cultivation-independent approaches (DGGE, cloning and sequencing) will be combined. Studies on function and physiology of microorganisms involved in biofilm mineralization will be carried out using axenic cultures of those algae and cyanobacteria that appear to be most relevant due to their exopolymer-production, abundance and location within the biofilms.
The localization of algal strains will be revealed by Fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) on hard part microtome sections using specifically designed rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes.

Contact

Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedl, EPSAG University of Göttingen