Comparison of Arctic and Antarctic microbial communities: abundance, phylogeny and ecology


Professor Dr. Dirk Wagner 
Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam
Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ)
Department 5
Sektion 5.3: Geomikrobiologie


In the scope of the planned project the diversity and ecology of microbial communities and their functions in nutrient turnover under the extreme conditions in Arctic and Antarctic periglacial environments will be studied. Polar regions are vast and unique natural laboratories, both because of their geographical isolation and the minor anthropogenic influences active there, for studying microbial life under extreme environmental conditions. For this purpose the diversity and abundance of the microflora in dependence of important site characteristics such as hydrological, thermal and weathering processes will be investigated in different habitats on Store Koldewey (East Greenland) and Livingstone Island (Antarctic). The main objectives are the genotypic and phenotypic characterization of the microbial community by cultivation-independent methods such as lipid profiling and rRNA-based analyses. Stable isotope probing will be used to identify the main microbial players in nutrient turnover in the different environments. The acquired data will give insights into the early stage of life on Earth, the development of extreme habitats and the functioning of microbes within the ecosystem. The planed study contributes to the research topics of the International Polar Year proposal entitled Antarctic and sub-Antarctic Permafrost, Periglacial and Soil Environments (ANPAS, No. 627) leaded by Dr. Jan Boelhouwers.


DFG-Verfahren: Infrastruktur-Schwerpunktprogramme

Förderung von 2006 bis 2011