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400 Million Years of Symbiosis: Host-microbe interactions in marine lucinid clams from past to present

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EvoLucin project word cloud

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

discovering    families    symbiotic    species    cells    symbionts    considering    infection    microbe    understand    animal    immense    environment    exclusive    housed    location    bacteria    exchange    clams    select    basis    innate    lived    clam    evolution    million    insights    lucinidae    limited    infected    health    mechanisms    specificity    evolutionary    molecular    proteins    function    organ    animals    interactions    diversity    microbes    experimentally    microbial    transforming    oceans    cutting    communication    staggering    encoded    underlying    recognition    fundamentally    gill    perpetuation    combine    symbiont    ideal    association    400    trillions    alter    hypothesize    edge    virtually    biology    drive    lab    lucinid    immune    assumptions    bacterial    parts    acquisition    overarching    experimental    emergence    history    free    marine    chemosynthetic    juveniles    symbiosis    ancient    nature    few    distant    lifetimes    outstanding    raised    interaction    found    tools    intracellular    earth    unmatched    host    maintenance   

Project "EvoLucin" 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]
 Total cost 1˙499˙561 €
 EC max contribution 1˙499˙561 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-02-01   to  2024-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAT WIEN AT (WIEN) coordinator 1˙499˙561.00


 Project objective

The widespread recognition that interactions with microbes drive animal health, development and evolution is transforming biology, but we so far understand the underlying mechanisms in very few systems. Considering that virtually every animal on Earth evolved with and among the microbes in its environment, there is still immense potential for discovering fundamentally new mechanisms of interaction among the staggering diversity of animals and their microbial symbionts in nature. The ancient and exclusive association between marine lucinid clams and chemosynthetic symbiotic bacteria is ideal for investigating these interactions. Lucinidae is one of the most widespread and species-rich animal families in the oceans today, and has lived in symbiosis for more than 400 million years. The clam’s outstanding ability to select one specific symbiont from the trillions of bacteria in its environment challenges widely held assumptions about the function and specificity of the innate immune system. Symbiont-free juveniles can be raised in the lab, and experimentally infected, allowing unmatched insights into the early development of this symbiosis. Although the symbiont infection is specific to gill cells, symbiont-encoded proteins can be found in distant parts of the animal that are symbiont-free. I will combine cutting-edge molecular tools and experimental infection to better understand three key aspects of host-microbe interactions in these clams: 1) Acquisition and selection of microbes during animal development, 2) Maintenance along animal lifetimes through molecular communication and exchange, and 3) Emergence and perpetuation over evolution. I hypothesize that intracellular bacterial symbionts fundamentally alter host biology, and these effects are not limited to the location where symbionts are housed, but can affect distant organ systems. My overarching goal is to understand the molecular basis for these effects, and their evolutionary history.

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The information about "EVOLUCIN" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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