Scope of the conference

Most marine microorganisms live in intimate associations with other organisms.  These interactions are frequently crucial for the propagation and survival of microbes in marine ecosystems and determine important global nutrient cycles. Only a negligible part of the expected microbial diversity of the ocean is so far accessible by cultivation, which hampers the functional analysis of these species.


The integration of microbial diversity research with state of the art functional genomics techniques enables us now to assess the complexity of microbial-dominated metabolic circles in a new dimension. Advanced molecular biological methods promote the determination of the theoretical genomic potential in marine ecosystems. Moreover, the analysis of real in situ activities of marine microbial assemblages allows for a cultivation-independent elucidation of specific bacteria-mediated ecosystem functions. On the basis of detailed functional genome analyses of cultivable model bacteria, new environmentally relevant metabolic pathways and adaptation strategies can be elucidated. In-depth biochemical characterizations of identified key proteins are required to unravel specific molecular mechanisms and metabolic pathways of distinct key bacterial populations in their natural marine habitats.


The comprehensive analysis of both the genomic diversity and activity of marine microorganisms is a key for a better understanding of unexplored microbial interactions in marine ecosystems, on the level of individual species as well as in concerted interaction on the community level. The conference will present and discuss recent results in the emerging marine research fields of microbial ecology, polysaccharide utilization, microbial symbioses and structural biology.


Objectives of the conference

  1. Molecular mechanisms of bacterial degradation of marine polysaccharides
  2. Microbial-mediated ecosystem functions and adaptation strategies of marine bacteria
  3. Ecophysiological interdependencies of bacteria within marine microbial assemblages
  4. The physiology of uncultivable marine symbionts