QTB Team Details

Photo of Ovidiu  Popa


Dr. Ovidiu Popa

Quantitative und Theoretische Biologie
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Universitätsstraße 1
Gebäude: 25.32
Etage/Raum: 03.28
Tel.: +49 211 81-02919


Project description

Bacterial Community Profile of Phaeodactylum tricornutum Cultures

Bacteria and diatoms have co-existed in unison for over 200 million years establishing a symbiotic relationship: bacteria are naturally suited to occupying ecological niches presented by any diatom culture [1]. The utilisation of resources is maximied in a species-rich community because every possible niche is occupied, avoiding competition and so productivity is maximised. Studying species-specific bacterial-diatom interactions may be important industrially, especially if we encourage favourable bacteria that will enhance the growth of the diatom through the provision of expensive nutrients such as vitamin B12 or iron, therefore keeping production costs down.
[1] Amin SA; Parker MS; Armbrust EV, 2012. Interactions between diatoms and bacteria. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 76: 667-684

Molecular Diversification and Adaptation in Arabidopsis thaliana Population

Adaptation to particular environments is the driving force for diversification and molecular evolution in all organisms. Plants are the most complex photoautotrophic organisms able to colonise a wide range of ecological niches for larger time periods. The adaption process to particular condition has left its mark into the genome. Studying the diversification process of closely related species enables to understand how exactly environmental conditions can change the genome on evolutionary level with consequences for further research approaches and industrial applications.

Phage genetic elements in prokaryotic cells

Bacteriophages or phages are viruses that infect and replicate within a prokaryotic cell by injection of their own genetic material into the bacterial cytoplasm. Phages are the most common and diverse entities on the planet. They outnumbered the bacteria cells by a factor of 10 to 1. Phages can multiply through a lysogenic cycle (prophages or temperate phages) by insertion of their genome into the bacterial chromosome and remains dormant until the lytic cycle is induced. In the lytic cycle phages are using the bacterial metabolism to replicate and escape from the cell. The extensive co-evolution of the phages with their host has resulted in a remarkable diversity of phage elements. Studying the variety of phage elements existing in bacterial cells enable us to understand the process of phage-host interaction and to discover key elements, which may be of importance for several research and engineering applications

undefined Short CV of Ovidiu Popa


  • Popa O, Landan G and Dagan T (2015): Phylogenomic transduction networks reveal genetic barriers to phage-mediated lateral gene transfer during microbial evolution. submitted
  • Dagan T, Popa O, Klösges T, Landan G. (2014). Phylogenomic networks of microbial genome evolution in Manual of Environmental Microbiology, 4th Ed. ASM Press, in press.
  • Gophna U, Kristensen DM, Wolf YI, Popa O, Drevet C, and Koonin EV (2014): No evidence of inhibition of horizontal gene transfer by CRISPR-Cas on evolutionary timescales. ISME J 9, 2021–2027 (2015).
  • Engelen A, Convey P, Popa O, Ott S. (2014): Lichen photobiont diversity and selectivity at an inland site of the south of the southern maritime Antarctic (Coal Nunatak, Alexander Island). submitted
  • Nelson-Sathi S, Popa O, List J-M, Geisler H, Martin WF, Dagan T (2013): Reconstructing the lateral component of language history and genome evolution using network approaches. In:Classification and Evolution in Biology, Linguistics and the History of Science. Concepts – Methods – Visualization, eds Fangerau H, Geisler H, Halling T, Martin W. (Steiner, Stuttgart) pp. 163–180, www.steiner-verlag.de/titel/59821.html
  • Popa O. and Dagan T. (2011). Trends and barriers to lateral gene transfer in prokaryotes. Current Opinion in Microbiology 1–9.
  • Popa O., Hazkani-Covo E., Landan G., Martin W., and Dagan T. (2011). Directed networks reveal genomic barriers and DNA repair bypasses to lateral gene transfer amongprokaryotes. Genome Research 21, 599–609.
  • Kloesges T., Popa O., Martin W., and Dagan T. (2011). Networks of gene sharing among 329 proteobacterial genomes reveal differences in lateral gene transfer frequency at different phylogenetic depths. Molecular Biology and Evolution 28, 1057–1074.
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