The Roseobacter clade is a major lineage of the family Rhodobacteraceae of Alphaproteobacteria. Its members form one of the most abundant and successful groups of non-obligately phototrophic prokaryotes in the marine environment. In contrast to the high ecological importance the knowledge of this clade and of its key players in the marine environment is still surprisingly limited. Consequently, in the framework of this proposed SFB/TR marine microbial ecologists, bacterial physiologists, biochemists, natural product chemists, geneticists and computer scientists from Braunschweig and Oldenburg join forces to investigate the Roseobacter clade from the ecosystem level down to systems biology of model organisms with respect to important metabolic processes.
The major goal is the understanding of evolutionary, genetic and physiological principles which constitute the secret of success for these bacteria. How is the genetic configuration of these bacteria successfully employed for rapid evolutionary adaptations to multiple habitats at the level of metabolic and related regulatory networks? This question is the driver for the following projects: