Project Description

In the open ocean unique partnerships between single celled eukaryotic microalgae (diatoms) and N2 fixing heterocystous cyanobacteria can be observed. Much is know about the diversity and distribution of the partnerships, yet little to nothing is known on how the two partners meet, establish and maintain their partnership. One of the 3 symbiont strains, Calothrix SC01 was isolated from a chain of Chaetoceros diatoms in the North Pacific Ocean in 2004, and has been maintained in N free media. The genome is available for the Calothrix SC01 symbiont, and recently a micro-array was designed based on genetic features of the Calothrix SC01 genome.

Epifluorescent images of Calothrix SC01: a)chain of Chaetoceros diatoms from which it was isolated. After b) 6 monhts, c) 1 month, d) 2 years in isolation.

The Calothrix SC01 symbiont is always observed attached externally to its host diatom, Chaetoceros compressus. The goal of the Ms. Project is to run chemotaxis experiments with the Calothrix Sc01 and Chaetoceros spp. diatoms to identify which genes are up/down regulated in the presence of potential host diatoms.


For more information about the position please contact Dr. Rachel A: Foster by email: