Tron Frede Thingstad

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Tron Frede Thingstad (born 1946) is a Norwegian scientist. Professor Thingstad is leading a research group on marine microbiology at the Department of Biology, University of Bergen. His work has facilitated understanding the role of microbes in marine ecosystems, including the microbial loop. [1]


In 2009, Thingstad was awarded the prestigious ERC Advanced Investigators Grant to the project "MINOS" (MIcrobial Network OrganiSation), which is focused on microbial networks in the ocean. [2] In 2010, Thingstad received the "Prize for Outstanding Research" of the Norwegian Research Council (informally known as the "Møbius Prize"). According to the jury, his research "has contributed to deeper understanding of topics within marine microbiology, biodiversity, climate research, and ocean acidification". [1] He is also a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

Selected bibliography

Related Research Articles

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Microbial loop

The microbial loop describes a trophic pathway where, in aquatic systems, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is returned to higher trophic levels via its incorporation into bacterial biomass, and then coupled with the classic food chain formed by phytoplankton-zooplankton-nekton. In soil systems, the microbial loop refers to soil carbon. The term microbial loop was coined by Farooq Azam, Tom Fenchel et al. in 1983 to include the role played by bacteria in the carbon and nutrient cycles of the marine environment.

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Farooq Azam is a researcher in the field of marine microbiology. He is a Distinguished Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at the University of California San Diego. Farooq Azam grew up in Lahore and received his early education in Lahore. He attended University of Punjab, where he received his B.Sc in Chemistry. He later he received his M.Sc from the same institution. He then went to Czechoslovakia for higher studies. He received his PhD in Microbiology from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. After he received his PhD, Farooq Azam moved to California. Azam was the lead author on the paper which coined the term microbial loop. This 1983 paper involved a synthesis between a number of leaders in the (then) young field of microbial ecology, specifically, Azam, Tom Fenchel, J Field, J Gray, L Meyer-Reil and Tron Frede Thingstad.

Aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria (AAPBs) are alphaproteobacteria and gammaproteobacteria that are obligate aerobes that capture energy from light by anoxygenic photosynthesis. Anoxygenic photosynthesis is the phototrophic process where light energy is captured and stored as ATP. The production of oxygen is non-existent and, therefore, water is not used as an electron donor. They are widely distributed marine plankton that may constitute over 10% of the open ocean microbial community. They can be particularly abundant in oligotrophic conditions where they were found to be 24% of the community. Aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria are photoheterotrophic (phototroph)microbes that exist in a variety of aquatic environments. Photoheterotrophs, are heterotrophic organisms that use light to produce energy, but are unable to utilize carbon dioxide as their primary carbon source. Most are obligately aerobic, meaning they require oxygen to grow. One remarkable aspect of these novel bacteria is that they, unlike other similar bacteria, are unable to utilize BChl (bacteriochlorophyll) for anaerobic growth. The only photosynthetic pigment that exists in AAPB is BChl a. Anaerobic phototrophic bacteria, on the contrary, can contain numerous species of photosynthetic pigments like bacteriochlorophyll a, b, c, d, e, f, etc. There is still a large void in the areas regarding the abundance and genetic diversity of the AAPB, as well as the environmental variables that regulate these properties.

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Microbiome Microbial community assemblage and activity

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Corina Brussaard Dutch leading scientist for Antarctic viral ecology

Corina Brussaard is a leading scientist for Antarctic viral ecology working for the Royal Institute of Sea Research (NIOZ) and is a Special Professor of Viral Ecology at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

The "Kill the Winner" hypothesis (KTW) is a model of population growth involving prokaryotes, viruses and protozoans that links trophic interactions to biogeochemistry. It is based on the concept of prokaryotes taking one of two reactions to limited resources: "competition", that is, that priority directed to growth of the population, or a "winner"; and "defense", where the resources are directed to survival against attacks. It is then assumed that the better strategy for a phage, or virus which attacks prokaryotes, is to concentrate on the "winner", the most active population. This tends to moderate the relative populations of the prokaryotes, rather than the "winner take all". The model is related to the Lotka–Volterra equations. Current understanding on KTW stems from our knowledge of lytic viruses and their host populations.

Oded Beja

Oded Béjà is a professor in the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology, in the field of marine microbiology and metagenomics. Oded Béjà is best known for discovering the first bacterial rhodopsin naming it proteorhodopsin, during his postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Edward DeLong. Oded Béjà's laboratory focuses currently on the role and diversity of photosynthetic viruses infecting cyanobacteria in the oceans, and the use of functional metagenomics for the discovery of new light sensing proteins. Recently the team of Oded Beja discovered a new family of rhodopsins with an inverted membrane topology, which can be found in bacteria, algae, algal viruses and archaea. Members of the new family were named heliorhodopsins.

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Viral shunt

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Marine food web

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Marine holobiont

The holobiont concept is a renewed paradigm in biology that can help to describe and understand complex systems, like the host-microbe interactions that play crucial roles in marine ecosystems. However, there is still little understanding of the mechanisms that govern these relationships, the evolutionary processes that shape them and their ecological consequences. The holobiont concept posits that a host and its associated microbiota with which it interacts, form a holobiont, and have to be studied together as a coherent biological and functional unit to understand its biology, ecology, and evolution.


  1. 1 2 Anna Thorsen and Tore Espedal (2010). "Årets Møbius 2010: Mikrobiolog hedret". The Research Council of Norway. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  2. Synnøve Bolstad/Else Lie (2009). "Further ERC funds to Bergen: Top grant awarded to research on microorganisms". The Research Council of Norway. Retrieved 18 March 2013.