The mangrove microbiome in the Red Sea: a source of nature based solutions
The beneficial interaction between a host and its microbiome is essential to keep hosts and ecosystems healthy. In extreme environments, the microbiome is tailored to confer tolerance to the host in order to thrive. This can be observed in many ecosystems, such as in deserts and shores. For that, understanding this interaction would unlock the great potential of the extremophile microbiome to serve as tools in desert agriculture, as well as, sustaining healthy shores of mangrove forests, and healthier water bodies for marine life.
Mangroves are one of the most important carbon sinks of the world. Protecting mangrove forests and sustaining its health is a primary goal for the mangrove microbiome initiative (MMI), which our lab is leading in collaboration with many labs around the world. In the mangrove microbiome project, we are studying the different mangrove ecosystems as a whole, looking closely at the phyllosphere, leaves, rhizosphere, roots, sediment at different depths, and water column at different depths. The microbiome associated with each of these habitats would serve as a health indicator. These healthy microbiomes can be cultured to confer abiotic/biotic stress tolerance to prone mangroves. To test that, a model system will be used to observe the effect of the microbiome under challenging conditions, and to understand the molecular dialogue between the host mangrove and microbiome.
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Center Affiliation -
Red Sea Research Center
Field of Study -