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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.

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

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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