Microbial biodiversity in Baltic Sea sediment

Field: Miljövetenskap
Project leader: Sara Sjöling, Janet Jansson
Starting year: 2002
Project type: Project

The broad objective of this research programme, which includes two Ph. D. projects, is to study the diversity of microorganisms in Baltic Sea sediments. We used molecular techniques to answer questions of applied and ecological importance concerning the diversity and community structure of marine bacteria and archaea. This research included determining the effect of environmental parameters and pollutants on microbial diversity since these impacts could eventually lead towards disruption of essential ecosystem functioning. 

Microorganisms in Baltic Sea sediments have evolved a series of adaptations to survive and grow successfully in this brackish and cold-water ecosystem. This is considered in our research in the area of Metagenomics, which includes accessing novel marine bacterial gene products while circumventing the limitations imposed, by microbial isolation. These molecular approaches enable us to explore the hidden diversity of marine bacteria and to screen for novel biotechnological products and processes. Our research project has been presented at international conferences and published in international journals. In addition, we benefit from extensive international collaboration.