News & Events
Reproductive anomalies of symbiotic bacteria
Speaker(s): Nika Pende, PhD candidate, Department of Ecogenomics and Systems Biology, University of Vienna, Austria
When: 24 July 2017 (3:00 - 4:00pm)
Where: Asian School of the Environment (ASE) Seminar Room B (N2-01B-28)
Type: Seminars


Cultivable bacteria such as Escherichia coli have been the subjects of most cell microbiological studies so far. According to our model system-derived knowledge - after doubling in length - a bacterial rod positions the septum transversally and divides symmetrically. However, striking reproductive modes have already been described in both plant and animal bacterial symbionts. Such reproductive anomalies are displayed by the filamentous symbionts of the marine nematodes Eubostrichus dianeae and fertilis. Although extraordinarily long and polyploid, the Eubostrichus symbionts reproduce by FtsZ-based symmetric, transverse fission. The rod-shaped symbionts attached orthogonally to the surface of Laxus oneistus and Robbea hypermnestra nematodes divide by FtsZ-based longitudinal fission. Cell biological studies of bacterial symbionts show that fundamental processes as growth and division can be affected by the symbiotic lifestyle.


Nika Pende was born in Zagreb, Croatia, but raised in Vienna, Austria. She studied at the University of Vienna Ecology with the main focus on Marine Biology. Nika started her Diploma thesis (equivalent to Master's thesis) with Silvia Bulgheresi PhD on marine nematodes and their ectosymbiotic bacteria. Her Diploma thesis was awarded the “Rupert-Riedl-Preis” for marine biology research in Austria. After her diploma work, Nika got the chance to work with with Sébastien Duperron PhD on Bivalves (Mytilidae) associated symbiotic bacteria at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France. During her short-stay abroad, she worked at the TU Delft, Netherlands on ectopic expression of symbiont cell division genes. Nika's research work has been published in high impact peer reviewed journals and presented at several conferences. On ISME 17 her poster on the growth mode of longitudinally dividing rod-shaped bacteria was awarded one of the best poster prizes.