Functional Sea Ice Ecology: Molecular Biodiversity, Metatranscriptomics and Metagenomics


Professor Dr. Stephan Frickenhaus 
Hochschule Bremerhaven

Dr. Klaus Valentin 
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung 
Sektion Polare Biologische Ozeanographie


During an earlier DFG project within the “Antarktisschwerpunktprogramm” (VA 105/13-1&2) we have established a seminal molecular biodiversity and metatranscriptomic dataset from selected eukaryotic polar sea ice communities. Phylogenetic analyses of both rDNA sequences and cDNA sequence fragments congruently revealed diatoms, haptophytes, and alveolates as the dominant taxa. For some of these, full genome sequencing projects are underway or just finished. Recently we obtained funding from Roche to sequence up to 3x109 basepairs of total DNA from sea ice communities. The aim of this proposal is to integrate the information available from genome sequences of sea ice organisms with environmental sequences including SSU rDNA, metatranscriptomic and metagenomic data. In particular, we intend to 1) assess “total” and “active” eukaryotic biodiversity, 2) identify genomic features differentiating sea ice organisms from other marine protists, and to 3) compare the active transcriptomes to the corresponding metagenomes and thus identify groups of genes / gene functions which are potentially involved in enabling these organisms to survive in sea ice. This will provide novel insights into genome composition, its variation and expression under extreme environmental conditions in eukaryotic sea ice microorganisms, and allow conclusions on the adaptive potential of sea ice communities, an ecosystem particularly endangered by expected global warming.


DFG-Verfahren: Infrastruktur-Schwerpunktprogramme

Förderung von 2010 bis 2014