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DormantMicrobes SIGNED

Revealing the function of dormant soil microorganisms and the cues for their awakening

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "DormantMicrobes" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: WIEN
postcode: 1010

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Austria [AT]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙499˙356 €
 EC max contribution 1˙499˙356 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-09-01   to  2021-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAT WIEN AT (WIEN) coordinator 1˙499˙356.00


 Project objective

Soils are considered the last scientific frontiers that harbor one of the most diverse microbial communities on Earth. It is hypothesized that this diversity allows for redundancy in microbial key processes, thereby ensuring ecosystem stability. Much of this functional redundancy is embodied in non-active, dormant microorganisms that represent the ‘microbial seed bank’, which is characterized by a high number of low abundant taxa. Based on the recent theory of a ‘dynamic rank-abundance curve’, it is hypothesized that the rare dormant organisms can be recruited to participate in a given function upon resuscitation with environmental cue(s). In this project I will test this hypothesis on a level that matters for ecosystem processes – the functional level – by an innovative approach combining stable isotope probing (SIP) and sequencing with process-level and single-cell activity analysis. By testing 4 hypotheses, we will (1) reveal environmental cues that resuscitate dormant microorganisms involved in major soil functions and identify the activated microorganisms. The activity of the resuscitated communities will be analyzed at the process level, as well as at the single-cell by NanoSIMS, thereby allowing us to elucidate the impact of dormancy/resuscitation dynamics on targeted processes at the population and ecosystem level. (2) We will investigate the genetics of microbial dormancy-resuscitation strategies in a natural model environment for dormancy, an arid ecosystem, by metatranscriptome analysis of critical dormancy-resuscitation steps. (3) We will retrieve genomic information of primarily rare, but after resuscitation active, microorganisms involved in important soil processes, as they presumably contain so far unknown genomic potential. In summary, this project will generate essential knowledge on the stability of microbial key processes and on the diversity, the function and the genetics of the dormant majority in terrestrial ecosystems.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Roey Angel, Christopher Panhölzl, Raphael Gabriel, Craig Herbold, Wolfgang Wanek, Andreas Richter, Stephanie A. Eichorst, Dagmar Woebken
Application of stable-isotope labelling techniques for the detection of active diazotrophs
published pages: 44-61, ISSN: 1462-2912, DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.13954
Environmental Microbiology 20/1 2020-03-11
2018 Tom W. N. Walker, Christina Kaiser, Florian Strasser, Craig W. Herbold, Niki I. W. Leblans, Dagmar Woebken, Ivan A. Janssens, Bjarni D. Sigurdsson, Andreas Richter
Microbial temperature sensitivity and biomass change explain soil carbon loss with warming
published pages: 885-889, ISSN: 1758-678X, DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0259-x
Nature Climate Change 8/10 2020-03-11
2016 Marie Spohn, Erich M. Pötsch, Stephanie A. Eichorst, Dagmar Woebken, Wolfgang Wanek, Andreas Richter
Soil microbial carbon use efficiency and biomass turnover in a long-term fertilization experiment in a temperate grassland
published pages: 168-175, ISSN: 0038-0717, DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2016.03.008
Soil Biology and Biochemistry 97 2020-03-11
2018 Michael Thomas Zumstein, Arno Schintlmeister, Taylor Frederick Nelson, Rebekka Baumgartner, Dagmar Woebken, Michael Wagner, Hans-Peter E. Kohler, Kristopher McNeill, Michael Sander
Biodegradation of synthetic polymers in soils: Tracking carbon into CO 2 and microbial biomass
published pages: eaas9024, ISSN: 2375-2548, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aas9024
Science Advances 4/7 2020-03-11
2018 Hannes Schmidt, Naoise Nunan, Alexander Höck, Thilo Eickhorst, Christina Kaiser, Dagmar Woebken, Xavier Raynaud
Recognizing Patterns: Spatial Analysis of Observed Microbial Colonization on Root Surfaces
published pages: , ISSN: 2296-665X, DOI: 10.3389/fenvs.2018.00061
Frontiers in Environmental Science 6 2020-03-11

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