Exploring the Red Sea microbiome: novel bacterial lineage and more

Exploring the Red Sea microbiome: novel bacterial lineage and more
Dr. Rehab Abdallah

• Exploring the Red Sea microbiome: novel bacterial lineage and more

Dr. Rehab Abdallah, Postdoctoral fellow at the American University in Cairo and Guest scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology.

The Red Sea is one of the most beautiful touristic destinations in Egypt, with its unique and diverse coral reefs and marine life. Interestingly, the microbial life in the Red Sea remains unexplored. Since 2008, the Red Sea Marine Microbiology Research group, at the American University in Cairo, is working under the supervision of Dr. Rania Siam to discover the unique Red Sea microbial life and their hidden potentials. Distinct Red Sea environments, including brine pools water and sediment, surface water, and coastal sediment samples, were studied. We used a variety of techniques from standard microbiology culturing techniques to state-of-the-art shotgun metagenomics and functional metagenomics techniques to decipher the Red Sea microbiome. Our group was able to identify different microbial consortia dwelling in the diverse environments of the Red Sea. For example, novel anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea and aerobic methanotrophic bacteria were identified only in the Atlantis II brine pool sediment and interface water layer (1,2). Moreover, microbial profiling of 10 Red Sea coastal sediment samples was performed to unravel the effect of the different pollutants on the microbiome of the Red Sea (3). Additionally, members of the group were able to explore the Red Sea microbial communities for unique thermostable and halotolerant enzymes. For example, enzymes that have a potential role in the Biotech industry, such as esterase, ligase and more (4). (1) Siam, R; Mustafa, GA; Sharaf, H; Moustafa, A; Ramadan, AR; Antunes, et al. Unique prokaryotic consortia in geochemically distinct sediments from red sea Atlantis II and discovery deep brine pools. PLoS ONE. 2012; 7. (2) Abdallah RZ, Adel M, Ouf A, Sayed A, Ghazy MA, Alam I, et al. Aerobic methanotrophic communities at the Red Sea brine–seawater interface. Front Microbiol. 2014; 5:487. (3) Mustafa, G. A., Abd-Elgawad, A., Ouf, A., and Siam, R. (2016). The Egyptian Red Sea coastal microbiome: a study revealing differential microbial responses to diverse anthropogenic pollutants. Environ Pollut. 2016; 214:892–902. (4) Mohamed YM, Ghazy MA, Sayed A, Ouf A, El-Dorry H, Siam R. Isolation and characterization of a heavy metal-resistant, thermophilic esterase from a Red Sea Brine Pool. Sci Rep. 2013; 3:1–8.

About Us

Bio Team Egypt
We are Egyptian activists in the field of Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship awareness. Researchers, engineers and undergrad students from divers Egyptian universities and institutions. One target has collected us, is to create an Egyptian scientific community which is specialized into Biotechnology.

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