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Microbes support adaptation to climate change

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A female polyp of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, shown here laying eggs, can directly inherit the temperature tolerance of the parent generation through the passing on of certain bacteria. Credit: HHU / Hanna Domin Researchers from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and Kiel University (CAU) led by Professor Sebastian Fraune use the example of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis to investigate the contribution of the microbiome to the thermal adaptation of living organisms. As they discovered, this contribution is critical and they report on it in the current issue of the journal Nature Communications .

All multicellular organisms are colonized by an unimaginably large number of microorganisms and have co-evolved with them from the very beginning of life’s evolutionary history. The natural microbiome , i.e. the totality of these bacteria, viruses and fungi living in and on a body, is of fundamental importance for the organism as a whole: It performs vital tasks for the host, for example, it assists in nutrient uptake and it helps defend against pathogens.

The research team from HHU and CAU has now investigated how the microbiome assists an organism in the adaptation to changing environmental conditions. In a study within the Collaborative Research Center […]

Click here to view original web page at phys.org

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