ZMT scientists study seaweed in Vietnam ꓲ Photo: Andreas Kunzmann

Seaweed farming has generated substantial socio-economic benefits to marginalized coastal communities in developing countries, most of which have reduced access to alternative economic activities. In some communities, seaweed farming has emerged as the most relevant livelihood strategy.

Like other eukaryotic organisms, seaweeds harbor a rich diversity of associated microorganisms with functions related to host health and defense. In particular, epiphytic bacterial communities have been reported as essential for normal morphological development of the algal host, and bacteria with antifouling properties are thought to protect chemically undefended macroalgae from detrimental, secondary colonization by other microscopic and macroscopic epibiota. This tight relationship suggests that seaweed and epiphytic bacteria interact as a unified functional entity or holobiont, analogous to the previously suggested relationship in corals.

Moreover, given that the impact of diseases in marine ecosystems is apparently increasing, understanding the role of bacteria as saprophytes and pathogens in seaweed communities may have important implications for marine management strategies. There is a great need for substantial laboratory and molecular based data to understand health, performance and resilience of seaweed, which are functionally regulated and assisted in part by epiphytic bacteria. Therefore, detailed assessment of the seaweed microbiome is necessary in order to develop sustainable practice for culturing seaweed.

Aims:

- Investigation of the microbial community composition and functionality in both natural and aquaculture tropical seaweed systems, to identify potential strains with biotechnological applications.

- Identify probiotic and pathogenic bacteria for sustainable management of seaweed aquaculture.

- Isolation and testing of bioactive and biotechnological relevant microbial strains and its secondary metabolites.

- Implementation of sustainable practice and management strategies to stakeholders.

 

Project Partner (Germany)

 

Project Partners in Vietnam


Dr. Astrid Gärdes, Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung
AG Marine Mikrobiologie (Leiterin)
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Dr. Andreas Kunzmann
Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung
AG Ökophysiologie (Leiter)
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Prof. Dr. Pham Quoc Long, Institute of natural products Chemistry, Hanoi
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Ass Prof.Dr. Bui Minh Ly, Nhatrang Institute of Research and Technology Application, Nhatrang
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Dr. Nguyen Hoai Nam, Institute of Marine Biochemistry, Hanoi
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