Lars Behrendt – Department of Biology - University of Copenhagen

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Lars Behrendt

Lars Behrendt


Department of Biology, Biomolecular Sciences
Universitetsparken 15, bygn. 1, sal. 1

Phone: +45 353-30120
Phone (Reception desk): +45 353-23710

Current research

My current interest lies in the description of surface associated microbial communities with a particular focus on phototrophic cyanobacteria. Tropical invertebrates such as sponges and ascidians (i.e. “seasquirts”) are known to harbor exceptional bacteria such as the Chlorophyll d bearing cyanobacterium Acaryochloris marina as well as Prochloron spp., a symbiotic bacterium with an unusual pigment composition (Chlorophyll a/b). In order to further describe the microbial communities associated with a tropical ascidian we are using parallel pyrosequencing of 16S amplicons. Microsensors and advanced imaging methods (chlorophyll fluorescence, microscopy and hyperspectral imaging) are used to portray the chemico-biological environment in which these phototrophic bacteria live. One of my more recent interests is the visualization of A. marina in its natural habitat using Fluorescence–in-situ-hybridization (FISH) probes and the embedment of the same bacterium in alginate beads. The overall goal of my research is to broaden our perception on which light-wavelengths are actively involved in photosynthesis and what biological responses are found in extreme environments. This will help us understand the evolution and limitations of the most fundamental pathway on our planet.