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Miguel Ángel González Porras

Ph.D. student

Department of Symbiosis

MPI for Marine Microbiology
Celsiusstr. 1
D-28359 Bremen




+49 421 2028-906

Miguel Ángel González Porras

Main Research Interests

I am fascinated by the symbiotic interactions established between marine invertebrates and their associated microbiome. My research interests are mainly based on the metabolic, ecological and evolutionary implications of these symbiotic relationships. Concretely, my research focuses on:

  • Microniches partitioning in host-microbiome systems. By coupling Direct-geneFISH (Barrero-Canosa et al., 2016) with super resolution structured illumination microscopy (SR-SIM), we have demonstrated that strain-specific differences in metabolic potential drive heterogeneous distribution of single-ribotype symbionts within their host.

  • Transcriptomic characterization of an intranuclear parasite life cycle. We are studying how the genetic expression of the intranuclear parasite Ca. Endonucleobacter bathymodioli changes along its life cycle. Using a multidisciplinary approach which includes fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), epifluorescence microscopy, laser-assisted microdissection (LAM), next generation sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatic analysis, we aim to demonstrate that the parasite might be releasing molecular effectors that hijack host nucleus processes.


Deep-sea mussels: A chemosynthetic symbiotic system

B. puteoserpentis
© M. Á. González Porras

Bathymodiolin mussels dominate in term of biomass several deep-sea ecosystems, where reduced inorganic compounds are abundant. These marine invertebrates live in symbiosis with two small chemosynthetic gammaproteobacteria: A sulfur-oxidizing symbiont (SOX) and a methane-oxidizing symbiont (MOX). In this symbiosis, the mussel provides the symbionts with shelter and protection, while the symbionts provide fixed organic carbon in return.

Left: Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on Bathymodiolus puteoserpentis gill filament. Super-resolution structured illumination microscopy image. Sulfur-oxidizing symbiont 16S rRNA (green: Cy5). Methane-oxidizing symbiont 16S rRNA (red: Atto488). Host DNA (blue: DAPI).

Ca. Endonucleobacter bathymodioli
© M. Á. González Porras

Left: Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on Bathymodiolus childressi gill filament. Super-resolution structured illumination microscopy animated reconstruction of a mussel nucleus massively infected by the intranuclear parasite Ca. Endonucleobacter bathymodioli.

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