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Dr. Nikolaus Leisch


Department of Symbiosis

MPI for Marine Microbiology
Celsiusstr. 1
D-28359 Bremen




+49 421 2028-822


Main Research Interests

Functional and morphological adaptations of pro- and eukaryotes to a symbiotic lifestyle.



Assie A, Borowski C, van der Heijden K, Raggi L, Geier B, Leisch N, Schimak M P, Dubilier N, and Petersen J M. 2016. A specific and widespread association between deep-sea Bathymodiolus mussels and a novel family of Epsilonproteobacteria. Environmental Microbiology Reports. 10.1111/1758-2229.12442

Leisch N, Pende N, Weber P M, Gruber-Vodicka H R, Verheul J, Vischer N O, Abby S S, Geier B, den Blaauwen T, and Bulgheresi S. 2016. Asynchronous division by non-ring FtsZ in the gammaproteobacterial symbiont of Robbea hypermnestra. Nature Microbiology 2:16182. 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.182

Montanaro J, Gruber D, and Leisch N. 2016. Improved ultrastructure of marine invertebrates using non-toxic buffers. PeerJ 4:e1860. 10.7717/peerj.1860


Montanaro J, Inic-Kanada A, Ladurner A, Stein E, Belij S, Bintner N, Schlacher S, Schuerer N, Mayr U B, Lubitz W, Leisch N, and Barisani-Asenbauer T. Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 bacterial ghosts retain crucial surface properties and express chlamydial antigen: an imaging study of a delivery system for the ocular surface Drug Design, Development and Therapy 2015(9):3741-3754


N Pende*, N Leisch*, H R Gruber-Vodicka, N R Heindl, J Ott, T den Blaauwen and S Bulgheresi Size-independent symmetric division in extraordinarily long cells. Nature Communications (doi:10.1038/ncomms5803)

J A Ott, H R Gruber-Vodicka, N Leisch and Judith Zimmermann Phylogenetic confirmation of the genus Robbea GERLACH, 1956 (Nematoda: Desmodoridae, Stilbonematinae) with the description of three new species. Systematics and Biodiversity 12(4):434-455

J A Ott, N Leisch and H R Gruber-Vodicka Eubostrichus fertilis sp. n., a new marine nematode (Desmodoridae, Stilbonematinae) with an extraordinary reproductive potential from Belize, Central America. Nematology 16(7): 777-787

Michaela Stieglmeier, Andreas Klingl, Ricardo E. J. Alves, Simon Rittmann, Michael Melcher, Nikolaus Leisch and Christa Schleper Nitrososphaera viennensis sp. nov., an aerobic and mesophilic ammonia-oxidizing archaeon from soil and member of the novel archaeal phylum Thaumarchaeota International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 64(8):2738-2752


N Leisch, J Verheul, N R Heindl, H R Gruber-Vodicka, N Pende, T den Blaauwen and S Bulgheresi. Growth in width and FtsZ ring longitudinal positioning in a gammaproteobacterial symbiont Current Biology 22(19): R831-R832

U Dirks, H R Gruber-Vodicka, N Leisch, S Bulgheresi, B Egger, P Ladurner and J A Ott Bacterial Symbiosis Maintenance in the Asexually Reproducing and Regenerating Flatworm Paracatenula galateia. PLoS One 7(4): e34709.

V Zheden, J von Byern, A Kerbl, N Leisch, Y Staedler, I Grunwald, A M Power, W Klepal Morphology of the cement apparatus and the cement of the buoy barnacle Dosima fascicularis (Ellis & Solander, 1786) (Crustacea, Cirripedia, Thoracica, Lepadidae) The Biological Bulletin 223(2): 192-204


H R Gruber-Vodicka, U Dirks, N Leisch, C Baranyi, K Stoecker, S Bulgheresi, N R Heindl, M Horn, C Lott, A Loy, M Wagner and J A Ott. Paracatenula, an ancient symbiosis between thiotrophic Alphaproteobacteria and catenulid flatworms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America 108(29): 12078-12083

N Leisch, U Dirks, H R Gruber-Vodicka, M Schmid, W Sterrer and J A Ott Microanatomy of the trophosome region of Paracatenula cf. polyhymnia (Catenulida, Platyhelminthes) and its intracellular symbionts. Zoomorphology 130(4): 261-271

U Dirks*, H R Gruber-Vodicka*, N Leisch, W Sterrer and J A Ott A new species of symbiotic flatworms, Paracatenula galateia sp. nov. (Platyhelminthes: Catenulida: Retronectidae) from Belize (Central America). Marine Biology Research 7(8): 769-777

*these authors contributed equally

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