Programs and projects
Project 2051

Tracing the biology behind novel paleoenvironmental proxies: Identity and ecophysiology of anaerobic soil bacteria producing branched GDGT membrane lipids
Project leader: Prof. dr. ir. A. J. M. Stams
Researcher(s): Dr. R. Aydin
Starting date: 15-mar-07

Bacteria present in anaerobic soil and peat environments were found to produce a new class of branched glycerol diakyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) that are promising as novel palaeoenvironmental proxies. In this project, we will apply innovative cultivation-dependent and biomolecular approaches for the identification, isolation and ecophysiological characterization of anaerobic bacteria responsible for the production of branched GDGTs, strongly integrated with the geological sister project at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. While members of the physiologically largely unexplored phylum of Acidobacteria have been identified as candidate GDGT producers, high throughput anaerobic cultivation will be applied to isolate those bacterial strains responsible for the occurrence of branched GDGTs in anaerobic soils and peats. It can be foreseen that this project will not only allow for the unequivocal identification of bacteria producing branched GDGTs as components of their cell membrane, and generate data pivotal to confident application of GDGTs as organic proxies, but will also provide novel insight in the role of these lipids in adaptive stress response under varying environmental conditions, such as changes in ambient and temperature.

Rozelin Aydin (2012). Searching for Branched Glycerol Dialkyl Glycerol Tetraether Membrane Lipid Producing Bacteria in Soil.
Darwin Center authors: Aydin R.