• Hunting for microbes since 2003

  • We seek to understand

    the role of microorganisms in Earth's nutrient cycles

    and as symbionts of other organisms

  • Cycling of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur

    affect the health of our planet

  • The human microbiome -

    Our own social network of microbial friends

  • Ancient invaders -

    Bacterial symbionts of amoebae

    and the evolution of the intracellular lifestyle

  • Marine symbioses:

    Listening in on conversations

    between animals and the microbes they can't live without

  • Single cell techniques offer new insights

    into the ecology of microbes

  • Microbial Symbioses

    University of Vienna PhD program

  • Apply for the DOME International PhD/PostDoc program

Dome News

Latest publications

Is too much fertilizer a problem?

Fertilizers are added to crops in order to produce enough food to feed the human population. Fertilizers provide crops with nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen, which allow crops to grow bigger, faster, and to produce more food. Nitrogen in particular is an essential nutrient for the growth of every organismon Earth.Nitrogen is all around us and makes up about 78% of the air you breathe. However, plants and animals cannot use the nitrogen gas in the air. To grow, plants require nitrogen compounds fromthe soil,which can be produced naturally or be provided by fertilizers. However, applying excessive amounts of fertilizer leads to the release of harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and the eutrophication of our waterways. Scientists are currently trying to find solutions to reduce the environmentally harmful effects of fertilizers, without reducing the amount of food we can produce when using them.

Sedlacek CJ, Giguere AT, Pjevac P
2020 - Frontiers for Young Minds, 8: 63

Microbiome definition re-visited: old concepts and new challenges

The field of microbiome research has evolved rapidly over the past few decades, and has become a topic of great scientific and public interest. As a result of this rapid growth in interest covering different fields, we are lacking a clear commonly agreed definition of the term ‘microbiome’. Moreover, a consensus on best practices in microbiome research is missing. Recently, a panel of international experts discussed the current gaps in the frame of the European-funded MicrobiomeSupport project. The meeting brought together about 40 leaders from diverse microbiome areas, while more than a hundred experts from all over the world took part in an online survey accompanying the workshop. This article excerpts the outcomes of the workshop and the corresponding online survey embedded in a short historical introduction and future outlook. We propose a definition of microbiome based on the compact, clear and comprehensive description of the term provided by Whipps et al. in 1988, amended with a set of novel recommendations considering the latest technological developments and research findings. We clearly separate the terms microbiome and microbiota, and provide a comprehensive discussion considering the composition of microbiota, the heterogeneity and dynamics of microbiomes in time and space, the stability and resilience of microbial networks, the definition of core microbiomes and functionally relevant keystone species as well as coevolutionary principles of microbe-host and inter-species interactions within the microbiome. These broad definitions together with the suggested unifying concepts will help to improve standardization of microbiome studies in the future, and could be the starting point for an integrated assessment of data resulting in a more rapid transfer of knowledge from basic science into practice. Furthermore, microbiome standards are important for solving new challenges associated with anthropogenic-driven changes in the field of planetary health, for which the understanding of microbiomes might play a key role.

Berg G, Rybakova D, Fischer D, Cernava T, Champomier-Vergès MC, Charles T, Chen X, Cocolin L, Eversole K, Herrero-Corral G, Kazou M, Kinkel L, Lange L, Lima N, Loy A, Macklin JA, Maguin E, Mauchline T, McClure R, Mitter B, Ryan M, Sarand I, Smidt H, Schelkle B, Roume H, Kiran SG, Selvin J, de Souza RSC, van Overbeek L, Singh B, Wagner M, Walsh A, Sessitsch A, Schloter M
2020 - Microbiome, In press

Draft genome sequences of Chlamydiales bacterium STE3 and Neochlamydia sp. strain AcF84, endosymbionts of Acanthamoeba spp.

Chlamydiales bacterium STE3 and Neochlamydia sp. strain AcF84 are obligate intracellular symbionts of Acanthamoeba spp. isolated from the biofilm of a littoral cave wall and gills from striped tiger leaf fish, respectively. We report the draft genome sequences of these two environmental chlamydiae affiliated with the family Parachlamydiaceae.

Köstlbacher S, Michels S, Siegl A, Schulz F, Domman D, Jongwutiwes S, Putaporntip C, Horn M, Collingro A
2020 - 9: e00220-20

Lecture series

Ecology of ammonia oxidizers in engineered aquatic environments

Josh Neufeld
Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Canada
12:00 h

Ammonia oxidising archaea: From environments to enzymes

Laura Lehtovirta-Morley
University of East Anglia
12:00 h
Lecture Hall HS2, UZA1, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Wien

Metals and microbial respiration: the molecular basis of bioelectricity production and greenhouse gas destruction

David Richardson
University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, UK
12:00 h
Lecture Hall HS2, UZA1, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Wien