Muyzer, G. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research,
Garcia-Pichel, F. Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology,
Nuebel, U. Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology,
Kuehl, M. Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology,
Minz, D. The Moshe Shilo Center for Marine Biogeochemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,

Microbial mats are layered communities consisting of several closely interacting functional groups of microorganisms, the most important one the oxygenic phototrophs, cyanobacteria and diatoms. These ecosystems can be found in a wide variety of 'extreme' environments, such as hot springs, hypersaline ponds, and intertidal sediments, where grazing is absent or limited. Diel fluctuations in environmental conditions, especially light, have a great influence on the metabolic activities of the different functional groups creating steep gradients of oxygen, sulfide, and pH, which can be measured at a high spatial resolution with microsensors. Concomitantly with these diurnal shifts in environmental parameters, the spatial distribution of particular community members might change. The recently developed molecular biological approaches, such as PCR-DGGE, and slot blot hybridization analysis of extracted rRNA, are excellent tools to monitor population behaviour. Here we will give some examples of the combined use of molecular tools and microsensors to study population behaviour in microbial mat communities in relation to shifts in environmental conditions, and to test the diversity-stability hypothesis, which is still a debatable issue in ecology.
Day: Tuesday, Feb. 2
Time: 12:00 - 12:15pm
Location: Hilton of Santa Fe
Code: SS40TU1200H