Methanogens are part of the human gut microbiome but very little information is known on the interactions between methanogens and the rest of the microbiome. Similarly, while it is becoming increasing clear the bacteriophages play a crucial role in shaping the bacterial communities of microbiomes, our knowledge about the composition and contribution of archaeal viruses within microbiomes remains limited.
The Molitor lab is interested in (i) mining new methanogen-specific viruses and (ii) studying the interaction of these viruses with their methanogenic hosts, both in monoculture and in synthetic defined communities, combining long-term experiments in bioreactors with high throughput sequencing. The long-term goal is to investigate the influence of methanogenic viruses within microbial communities in vivo and to deploy these viruses to modulate the composition of microbiomes.
Dr. Bastian Molitor
University of Tübingen
Center for Applied Geoscience