Jan Brüwer

PhD Student

Department of Molecular Ecology

MPI for Marine Microbiology
Celsiusstr. 1
D-28359 Bremen




+49 421 2028-9280

Jan Brüwer

My Research

My research focuses on the bacterial life cycle from cell division to mortality in environmental bacteria. I mainly use different FISH methods and automated image analysis of thousands of images.

When a cell divides, it duplicates its genome and has to separate them into future daughter cells. We can see this through the microscope and can determine the frequency of dividing cells, which in turn is linearly correlated to the cell division rate. In this way, we can study the start of the bacterial life cycle.

Viruses are a known mortality factor. Although we know many viruses, we do not know how many host cells are infected by viruses in environmental samples. To tackle this challenge, we use direct-geneFISH to stain individual virus genes with fluorescent dyes. This allows me to detect phage-infected cells.

Find me on Twitter: @JanBruewer & @MolEcol_MPIMM.



Brüwer JD, Sidhu C, Zhao Y, Eich A, Rößler L, Orellana LH, Fuchs B. 2024 Globally occurring pelagiphage infections create ribosome-deprived cells. Nature Communications. [doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-48172-w]


Brüwer JD, Orellana LH, Sidhu C, Klip HC, Meunier CL, Boersma M, Wiltshire KH, Amann R, Fuchs BM. 2023. In situ cell division and mortality rates of SAR11, SAR86, Bacteroidetes, and Aurantivirga during phytoplankton blooms reveal differences in population controls. mSystems. [doi: 10.1128/msystems.01287-22]


Brüwer JD, Voolstra CR. 2018. First insight into the viral community composition of the cnidarian model metaorganism Aiptasia usring RNA-Seq. PeerJ 6e:4449 [doi: 10.7717/peerj.4449 ]

Brüwer JD, Buck-Wiese H. 2018. Reading the book of life - omics as a universal tool across disciplines. Youmares 8 - Oceans Across boundaries: Learning from each other. Springer, Cham, 73-82 [doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-93284-2_6]


Brüwer JD, Agrawal S, Liew YJ, Aranda M, Voolstra CR. 2017. Association of coral algal symbionts with a diverse viral community responsive to heat shock. BMC Microbiology 17(1):174 [doi: 10.1186/s12866-017-1084-5 ]


Buck-Wiese H, Voolstra CR, Brüwer JD. 2016. The metaorganism frontier - Incorporating microbes into the organism's response to environmental change. YOUMARES 7 - conference proceedings. [Link]


Field Experience


Eugen Seibold - Azores -> Azores -> Madeira

Continuously taking water and atmospheric samples on the emission-free and custom-build S/Y Eugen Seibold.


Extending POMPU spring bloom sampling into summer. Sampling water column of 'Kabeltonne' for genomic and microscopic analysis. Preliminary analysis on site.



Studying microbial community and their response to substrate incubations in the sediment and the water column.



Isolating phages as mortality factors during phytoplankton spring bloom. Lab rotation project with Nina Bartlau.



Expedition to find a microbial cause of a coral disease in the Indo-Pacific. We set up a microbiology laboratory in the middle of the jungle. Find more information here.

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