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Ecophysiology of membrane lipid remodelling in marine bacteria

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EcoLipid project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EcoLipid project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EcoLipid" about.

environment    synthesis    ecophysiology    sar11    lack    biology    phosphorus    heterotrophs    fitness    lipid    cycling    advantage    omics    cell    players    limitation    restricting    lipids    reveal    cosmopolitan    free    coli    phospholipids    physiological    deal    ecologically    offers    bacterial    biogeochemical    organisms    sulfolipids    oligotrophic    until    clades    insights    microbial    adapt    trade    unknown    remodelling    physiology    containing    phosphatidylglycerol    demonstrated    environments    cycles    composition    waters    phytoplankton    uses    knock    membranes    whereby    membrane    biotic    betaine    structural    numerically    substitute    abiotic    ecological    functioning    thought    predominantly    stress    capacity    bacteria    escherichia    marine    roseobacter    form    offs    sulfur    phosphatidylethanolamine    molecular    significantly    occurs    basis    myself    profound    ornithine    heterotrophic    deficiency    stresses    abundant    cells    glycolipids    hypothesize    nutrient    competitive    found    envelope    remodeling   

Project "EcoLipid" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Kirby Corner Road - University House
postcode: CV4 8UW

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 United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙965˙113 €
 EC max contribution 1˙965˙113 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-04-01   to  2022-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK UK (COVENTRY) coordinator 1˙965˙113.00


 Project objective

'Membrane lipids form the structural basis of all cells. In bacteria Escherichia coli uses predominantly phosphorus-containing lipids (phospholipids) in its cell envelope, including phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylglycerol. However, beyond E. coli a range of lipids are found in bacterial membranes, including phospholipids as well as phosphorus (P)-free lipids such as betaine lipids, ornithine lipids, sulfolipids and glycolipids. In the marine environment, it is well established that P availability significantly affects lipid composition in the phytoplankton, whereby non-P sulfur-containing lipids are used to substitute phospholipids in response to P stress. This remodeling offers a significant competitive advantage for these organisms, allowing them to adapt to oligotrophic environments low in P. Until very recently, abundant marine heterotrophic bacteria were thought to lack the capacity for lipid remodelling in response to P deficiency. However, recent work by myself and others has now demonstrated that lipid remodelling occurs in many ecologically important marine heterotrophs, such as the SAR11 and Roseobacter clades, which are not only numerically abundant in marine waters but also crucial players in the biogeochemical cycling of key elements. However, the ecological and physiological consequences of lipid remodeling, in response to nutrient limitation, remain unknown. This is important because I hypothesize that lipid remodeling has important knock-on effects restricting the ability of marine bacteria to deal with both abiotic and biotic stresses, which has profound consequences for the functioning of major biogeochemical cycles. Here I aim to use a synthesis of molecular biology, microbial physiology, and 'omics' approaches to reveal the fitness trade-offs of lipid remodelling in cosmopolitan marine heterotrophic bacteria, providing novel insights into the ecophysiology of lipid remodelling and its consequences for marine nutrient cycling.'


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Alastair F. Smith, Branko Rihtman, Rachel Stirrup, Eleonora Silvano, Michaela A. Mausz, David J. Scanlan, Yin Chen
Elucidation of glutamine lipid biosynthesis in marine bacteria reveals its importance under phosphorus deplete growth in Rhodobacteraceae
published pages: , ISSN: 1751-7362, DOI: 10.1038/s41396-018-0249-z
The ISME Journal 2019-04-04

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