Life at the front: defining cyanobacterial traits for plasticity in changeable ocean
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 12:52 by Pramita Ranjit
Microbial prokaryotes and eukaryotes thrive in the oceans where they represent the majority of biomass. They have adapted to and exploit almost every available niche by employing a wide diversity of functional traits. It is well known that distinct genetic lineages of marine picocyanobacteria occupy large geographical areas, such as the vast subtropical ocean gyres, or defined latitudinal slices encompassing the temperate, mesotrophic regions. However, a big proportion of the ocean corresponds to regions that are dynamic, such as the neritic coastal zone, or environments influenced by boundary currents. The aim of this thesis is to identify whether there are lineages of picocyanoacteria that are specifically adapted to variable ocean regions using comparative genomics and ecology. Secondly, to identify what specific molecular mechanisms they utilise to adapt. And finally, build and refine an efficient molecular toolbox to genetically manipulate the lineages of picocyanobacteria that could, for example, experimentally define the role of putative genes involved in adaptations to dynamic ocean regions . In the light of rapidly changing environmental conditions, a molecular - ecological understanding of how these abundant model cyanobacteria adapt will provide important insight s into the future productivity and the health of the ocean in general.