IMEDEA Calendar
 
May 2024
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Abstract



Sunlight drives virtually all life on the Earth’s surface, with about 50% of primary productivity occurring in marine systems. Yet, this traditional view of phototrophy changed radically with the discovery of marine bacterial rhodopsins (i.e., proteorhodopsins; PR), over twenty years ago. PRs are simple light-driven proton pumps present in over 80% of surface bacterioplankton, which allow them to transform light into biochemical energy.



Combining culture-based physiology studies with (meta)-genomics, (meta)-transcriptomics, and environmental quantifications we are just starting to understand the role that PR-based photoheterotrophy plays in the ocean. In this presentation, I will discuss the knowns and unknowns of PR-phototrophy and what we are starting to learn from looking at its natural distributions in different oceanographic basins, ranging from extreme ultraoligotrophic regions to high productivity environments


May 3 12:00 13:00
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TREC Sequencing Course Mallorca

Introductory course to Next Generation Sequencing tecniques organized within the Maria de Maeztu Programme in collaboration with EMBL.



Schedule



May 6th 2024 Monday                     



 



Wet lab lectures







































10:00 – 10:45



 



Session 1: Considerations for experimental design.



(Laura Villacorta – Genecore EMBL)



10:45 – 11:30



 



Session 2: Sample isolation and preparation. Applications. (Laura Villacorta – Genecore EMBL)



 



11:30 – 12:00



Coffee break (on site)



12:00 – 12:45



Session 4: Short-read sequencing.



(Laura Villacorta – Genecore EMBL)



12:45 – 13:30



Session 5: Long-read sequencing.



(Laura Villacorta – Genecore EMBL)



13:30 – 14:30



Lunch break (free time)



14:30 – 15:15



Session 3: Making of Platynereis into a Model Organism.



(Leslie Pan, Arendt’s lab, EMBL)



 



The Arendt group is interested in the evolution of central nervous system in bilateral animals. With sequencing technologies becoming more accessible, we have built extensive genomics resources that has allowed us to dive deeper into cell type evolution. Leslie will introduce different published and unpublished works from the group, and how we leveraged the different sequencing technologies.



1. Assembling the genome of a highly heterozygous worm



2. Single cell transcriptomes for cross species comparison



3. In field genotyping/sequencing for species identification



15:15 – 16:15



Session 6: Wet lab consultations.



(Laura Villacorta, Leslie Pan, Jonathan Landry)




 



 



 



May 7th 2024 Tuesday



 



Dry lab lectures



















10:00 – 11:30



 



 



Session 7: Sequencing data formats and data QC.



(Jonathan Landry – Genecore EMBL)



11:30 – 12:00



Coffee break (on site)



12:00 – 13:00 



 



Session 8: Dry lab consultations



(Jonathan Landry - Genecore EMBL)



 




 


May 6
Curso Base Programacion
May 6 14:00 16:00
SEMINARIO JB Raina (UT Sydney) - Uncovering complex chemically mediated microbial behaviours

Abstract



The ability of marine bacteria to direct their movement in response to chemical gradients influences inter-species interactions, nutrient turnover, and ecosystem productivity. While natural chemical hotspots produce gradients comprised of hundreds to thousands of different chemical compounds, we do not know how this chemical diversity affects the chemotactic responses of bacteria. I will present results from two studies that reveal some unexpected responses when bacteria are exposed to complex chemical mixtures. Using in situ and laboratory-based assays, we show that marine bacteria are strongly attracted to the abundant algal polysaccharide laminarin, but chemotaxis towards this large molecule is enhanced by dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), another ubiquitous algal-derived metabolite. Our results indicate that DMSP acts as a methyl donor for marine bacteria, increasing their gradient detection capacity and facilitating their access to polysaccharide patches. Using a novel chemotaxis choice assay, we then directly expose a model marine bacterium to four potent chemoattractants simultaneously (i.e., one monosaccharide and three amino acids). Although the bacterium is strongly chemotactic to each of these molecules in isolation, when these four molecules are provided simultaneously, the cells exhibit a striking response by swimming towards only one of them. These results start shedding light on the synergistic effects (e.g., laminarin and DMSP) and sharp chemical preferences modulating the behaviours of bacteria.


May 7 12:00 13:00

INTERNATIONAL VISITING SCHOLAR PROGRAMME (IVSP)



Abstract



Seagrass meadows and the services they provide are declining worldwide as a result of human perturbations. Along the Swedish W coast, almost 60% of the seagrass has been lost since the 1980's, representing a loss of approximately 190 km2 of seagrass. The seagrass Zostera marina, L. (eelgrass) is the dominant macrophyte on soft bottoms along the Swedish coast. The decrease in seagrass worldwide has lead to many restoration programs but their success rate is very low due to the regime shift and feedback mechanisms that also prevent natural recovery.



This presentation aims to provide a review on the restoration successes and challenges on eelgrass in Sweden. For example, positive feedbacks generated by water turbidity due to sediment resuspension, drifting macroalga covering eelgrass transplants and the presence of eelgrass predators such as shore crabs have been identified as causes affecting restoration success. To overcome these issues, restoration techniques using sand-capping have shown to be successful to reintroduce eelgrass in areas where it was lost. An interdisciplinary approach using field and laboratory experiments linked with hydrodynamical modeling showed to be key to understand the complex coastal ecological dynamics.



In addition, new methods to monitor coastal habitats such as seagrass meadows and marine mammals (dugongs and seals) using aerial drones and machine learning will be presented. These new technologies can contribute to faster data collection and data analysis for ecological studies and to provide relevant information to coastal managers and decision makers working on ecological conservation.



Bio



Eduardo Infantes is a researcher at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, where he leads the Seagrass Ecology Lab research group  based at Kristineberg marine station. With a focus on seagrass ecology over the last 18 years, his main interests are in 1) studying interactions between fluid dynamics and marine vegetation through field data, mesocosm experiments and flume studies, 2) restoration of coastal habitat using seagrass within the interdisciplinary ZORRO group, and 3) monitoring of seagrass beds and marine mammals (e.g. harbor seals, manatees, and dugongs) using drones and AI. With an interdisciplinary profile, he collaborates in research and management, contributing to environmental policies in coastal restoration and monitoring.


May 8 10:45 12:00
Curso Base Programacion
May 9 14:00 16:00



Abstract



Establishing root systems in rhizome fragments of Posidonia oceanica presents a significant challenge for its restoration. Rhizome fragments of this slow-growing seagrass require robust rooting for successful anchorage and nutrient absorption from the environment. Controlled experiments have demonstrated that the use of plant growth regulators, such as the auxins α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) and indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), stimulates rooting in P. oceanica cuttings. However, this effect has not been tested in a marine environment. In this study, rhizome fragments were exposed to varying concentrations of NAA and IBA for 24 hours before transplanting into a dead matte area in the Bay of Pollensa (Mallorca, Spain). After one year, all fragments survived; however, contrary to expectations, no significant differences emerged in the growth and biomass of roots, rhizomes (orthotropic and plagiotropic), and leaves between treated and untreated fragments. This implies that applying auxins to P. oceanica rhizome fragments may not offer an advantage when rooting transplants in the marine environment. Future studies should explore how other environmental conditions can influence rooting and interactions with auxin effects over time.



 



 


May 10 12:00 12:30
May 11 10:00 13:00
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Actualización del Programa María de Maeztu (Dra. Anna Traveset)
May 16 11:00 12:00
Seminar “Eelgrass restoration in the West coast of Sweden: Successes and challenges ahead”
May 16 15:00 16:00

Abstract



 



The animal gut hosts diverse bacterial communities that can affect the individual’s behavior, physiology, and metabolism. However, the relationship between an individual’s microbiome and its social behavior in the wild is poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that social behavior in the wild is correlated with the gut microbiome composition in a marine fish (Xyrichtys novacula). Relying on high-resolution acoustic telemetry, we first obtained a high-quality positioning data set from 232 individuals (153 females and 79 males). From these data, we computed the associations between paired individuals and found a harem-like social structure. Territories were formed by one male and several females, and males displayed agonistic behaviors towards their neighbors to defend territories. Subsequently, a sample of the social network was captured, and the diversity of the gut microbiome was quantified using operational phylogenetic units (OPUs) based on the analysis of 16S rRNA gene amplicons using Illumina high throughput sequencing. The social network properties were strongly correlated to the gut microbiome. Individual microbiome samples of fish from the same harem (including from different sex) were more similar to each other, while differences to other harems were strong. The use of similar local microhabitats, including food resources, as well as local social contact can both provide key transmission pathways for gut symbionts that shape gut microbiota, structuring the microbiome along social networks in aquatic animals. This work is among the first to show a relationship between social structure and the microbiome in a fish species in the wild. Further work is needed to reveal cause-and-effect relationships into whether the social network shapes the microbiome or the microbiome and the resulting metabolites shape certain behaviors that in turn create the network structure.


May 17 12:00 12:30
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