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Dr. Nikolaus Leisch


Department of Symbiosis

MPI for Marine Microbiology
Celsiusstr. 1
D-28359 Bremen




+49 421 2028-822

Dr. Nikolaus Leisch

Main Research Interests

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



Kitzinger K, Koch H, Lücker S, Sedlacek CJ, Herbold C, Schwarz J, Daebeler A, Mueller AJ, Lukumbuzya M, Romano S, Leisch N, Karst SM, Kirkegaard R, Albertsen M, Nielsen PH, Wagner M and Daims H (2018). Characterization of the First “Candidatus Nitrotoga” Isolate Reveals Metabolic Versatility and Separate Evolution of Widespread Nitrite-Oxidizing Bacteria. mBio 9:4 e01186-18 10.1128/mBio.01186-18

Pende N, Wang J, Weber PM, Verheul J, Kuru E, Rittmann SKMR, Leisch N, VanNieuwenhze MS, Brun YV, den Blaauwen T, Bulgheresi S (2018) Host-Polarized Cell Growth in Animal Symbionts. Current Biology 28, 1039-1051 10.1016/j.cub.2018.02.028


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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