Meet the Microbes


Our research focuses on the interactions of a diverse collection of marine organisms in both cold and temperate waters.  These range from the diatom Thalassiosira rotula, to the cyanobacteria Prochlorococcus marinus, to a library of heterotrophic marine bacteria including Alteromonas macleodii.

Marine Heterotroph Library

In November 2017, a dataset of 473 genomes was assembled, including many genomes isolated from planktonic marine bacteria and some outlier candidates to serve as comparison groups (28 genomes of bacteria inhabiting extreme marine environments such as thermal vents, 8 genomes of human-related bacteria and 3 genomes of rhizobia). Based on their genomic functional capacity, we aimed to define specific groups of bacteria that behave similarly in terms of their interactions with other organisms.  We clustered the genomes into functional coherent groups termed Genome Functional Clusters (GFCs). A total of 51 GFCs were identified and culturable candidates were drawn from these GFCs to form our marine heterotroph bacterial library.  As of summer 2019, we have begun to fully utilize this resource to address basic research questions about marine heterotrophic bacteria and their marine cyanobacteria and diatom neighbors.