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The growth of marine bacteria in the vast open ocean ecosystem is limited by the availability of nutrients. Marine bacteria play a crucial role in marine elemental cycling. Understanding how marine bacteria meet their nutrient demand and how they adapt to nutrient limitation holds the key to predicting the future Oceans’ functioning under natural and anthropogenic changes. Lipids are a major component of all living cells and lipidomics is a large scale, high throughput study of all lipid contents in biological systems. We currently aim to understand how marine bacteria respond to nutrient limitation using a lipidomics approach.

PhD student: Alastair Smith, funded by NERC

Supervisors: Dr Yin Chen; Prof David J Scanlan

Relevant publications

Sibastian M, Smith AF, Gonzalez JM, Fredricks HF, Van Mooy B, Koblizek M, Brandsma J, Koster G, Mestre M, Mostajir B, Pitta P, Postle AD, Sanchez P, Gasol JM, Scanlan DJ, Chen Y. (2015) Lipid remodelling is a widespread strategy in marine heterotrophic bacteria upon phosphorus deficiency. The ISME Journal, in press.