Anthropogenic influences on coastal environments, as pollution and climate warming, but also regional enrichment of marine animals (as in aquacultures), can result in microbial community changes. For instance, it has been shown that bacteria of the genus Vibrio benefit from elevated water temperatures, in particular potential human pathogenic members. As Vibrio bacteria often occur associated with higher marine organisms, this group of microorganism is also promoted by aquaculture. The impact of marine pollution, e.g. by microplastics, on Vibrio bacteria still needs to be explored, but first studies hint at increased numbers of Vibrio sp. on floating plastic particles in the oceans. With this in mind, we target the following research questions:
- Exploring the reservoirs and diversity of V. vulnificus at the Baltic coast of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Germany, and assess potential risks for the bathers
- Investigating the role of vibrios in coastal waters influenced by anthropogenic pollution and aquaculture and tackling the question whether Vibrio-specific bacteriophages can substitute antibiotics in aquacultures (area of research: Hainan, China)
- Carrying out a risk evaluation of microplastics as a vector for pathogenic bacteria in the Baltic Sea, with focus on Vibrio spp.
- Yu, Yan-Ping, Ting Gong, Günter Jost, Wen-Hua Liu, De-Zan Ye and Zhu-Hua Luo. (2013): Isolation and characterization of five lytic bacteriophages infecting a Vibrio strain closely related to Vibrio owensii. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 348(2): 112-119.
- Oberbeckmann, S., Fuchs, B. M., Meiners, M., Wichels, A., Wiltshire, K. H. & Gerdts, G. (2012): Seasonal dynamics and modeling of a Vibrio community in coastal waters of the North Sea. Microb. Ecol. 63: 543-551.
- Oberbeckmann, S., Wichels, A., Wiltshire, K. H. & Gerdts, G. (2011): Occurrence of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio alginolyticus in the German Bight over a seasonal cycle. Anton. Leeuw. Int. J. G. 100: 291-307.
- Oberbeckmann, S., Wichels, A., Maier, T., Kostrzewa, M., Raffelberg, S. & Gerdts, G. (2011): A polyphasic approach for the differentiation of environmental Vibrio isolates from temperate waters. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 75: 145-162.