Microbiome - SCALEWIN22

(L-R): Girish Rameshan, Nyasha Mafumo, Thato Mtshali (Team Leader of team FE), Oliver Mogase, Benjamin Abraham, Mayibongwe Buthelezi (front).

ProjectEnhanced insights regarding the ecology, evolution and function of marine microbiomes
Principal InvestigatorThulani MakhalanyaneUniversity of Pretoria

Onboard team members:

Team MemberRoleAffiliation
Oliver MogaseOnboard Team LeaderUP
Mayibongwe ButheleziPhDUP
Girish RameshanPostdocUP
Nyasha MafumoMScUP
Benjamin AbrahamPhDUP

The project description as per the sailing orders for the SCALE Winter Cruise of 2022:

By undertaking a temporal and seasonal evaluation of Southern Ocean (SO) microbiomes, we aim to provide insights regarding the diversity and function of their microbiomes. Taking advantage of current scheduled cruises and cruises of opportunity, we plan to explore key questions related to the selective forces shaping biogeographic distributions in the SO. We will explore microbial interactions using meta-omics analyses. Using the sequence data generated from our taxonomic and functional analysis of microbes in the SO we aim to provide insights regarding the ecology of geographically proximal marine waters.

We will use these data as a tool to understand microbial responses to environmental changes and their biochemical outcomes. To understand the effects of nutrients (trace elements) in shaping SO microbiomes, we will conduct a series of complementary experiments aimed at using a combination of coordinated sampling and ship-based co-limitation experiments. These studies will provide insights regarding the selective pressures shaping biogeographic and temporal distributions in the Southern Ocean. Understanding the adaptive responses of microbiomes, on the genome level, will allow us to predict the potential impacts of climate mediated changes on ecosystem services. Both these components are done in collaboration with the EU-H2020 project AtlantECO.

The MICROBIOME team set some time aside to explain their field of research to the South African Polar Research Infrastructure (SAPRI) trainees:

Follow the MICROBIOME team on Twitter!


Images supplied by Kurt Martin (SAPRI trainee).

Anche Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 28 July 2022.

© South African National Antarctic Programme • Managed and administered by Antarctic Legacy of South Africa • Photo Credits
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