Projects & Grants

Internal Grant Competition DGC
START-UP grant

The eustigmatophyte endosphere: intracellular bacteria and viruses in the life and evolution of a model group of algae
Project Id20-27648S
Main solverprof. Mgr. Marek Eliáš, Ph.D.
Period1/2020 - 12/2022
ProviderStandardní projekt GA ČR
AnotationMicrobes (including viruses) are key functional and evolutionary partners of perhaps every eukaryote. In contrast to microbes associated with humans and many other eukaryotes, very little is known about microbial partners of algae. We recently uncovered the existence bacteria of a novel lineage, Phycorickettsia, that occur as endosymbionts of eustigmatophytes (eustigs; an algal group important for biotechnologies) and has donated several genes to eustig plastid and nuclear genomes. Building on these published results and unpublished observations of putative giant DNA viruses in eustigs, we propose to investigate the eustig endosphere (i.e. intracellular bacteria and viruses) on a systematic basis. We will expand and improve genomic resources for comparative analyses of the algal hosts, the bacterial endosymbionts and the viruses, obtain a fine picture of the distribution, diversity and evolution of Phycorickettsia and eustig viruses, and evaluate the impact of microbes onto the eustig gene repertoire. The results will substantially improve our knowledge of algal life and evolution.