Microbial symbiosis

Organisms do not exist in isolation. Interactions between species are ubiquitous in nature and constitute an essential part of ecosystems. Symbiosis among microbes has been known for a long time. However, the true extent and pervasiveness of microbial interactions remained hidden from us until very recently.

Heterotrophic dinoflagellates such as Oxyrrhis marina, spend their time hunting for and devouring microalgae. A big, still unanswered question is whether they also interact with the bacterial communities that surround them. We are working to characterize the bacteria that cohabit with O.marina and determine the nature of their interactions.