The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has approved the establishment of a new Collaborative Research Centre (CRCs) at Kiel University. The funding grants a budget of about 10 million Euro for four years to eight institutions. The IKMB is involved in four of the projects.
Plants and animals – including humans – host highly specific microbial communities. Microbes associated with a certain host organism can influence the fitness of their respective hosts and ultimately form a metaorganism composed of the multicellular host and a community of associated microorganisms. Disruptions to this partnership have significant consequences for invertebrates and humans. Despite their essential nature, many aspects of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control the interactions in this type of metaorganism are still not understood. This is where the Collaborative Research Centre "Origin and Function of Metaorganisms" comes in, as it will investigate why and how microbial communities form long-term associations with host organisms. Scientists plan to research the evolutionary and ecological impact on the life cycle and fitness of certain host organisms.
Spokesperson is Professor Dr. Thomas C. G. Bosch, Kiel University. The scientists of the consortium come from five faculties at Kiel University – including the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology IKMB - , from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, from Universität Hamburg and from the Max Planck Institutes for Evolutionary Biology and Marine Microbiology in Plön and Bremen.
The scientists of the IKMB will be project leaders together with a colleague from a partner institute in the following projects:
- Host-microbiome coevolution in the mammalian intestine - John Baines / Andre Franke
- Effects of malnutrition and caloric restriction on epithelial -microbe interactions in the intestinal tract - Thomas Roeder / Philip Rosenstiel
- Next generation sequencing applications for studying metaorganisms - John Baines / Robert Häsler / Philip Rosenstiel
- Data management and integrated analyses - Andre Franke / Julien Yann Dutheil / Holger Marten / Sören Lorenz