Dr. Rubén Garrido-Oter

Research focus


We are interested in the evolutionary and ecological principles that govern the structure and dynamics of complex microbial communities, in particular those associated with photosynthetic organisms, such as land plants and terrestrial microalgae.

In this context, we focus on two main research questions:

  • what are the principles that govern microbiota establishment, stability and dynamics and,
  • how adaptation occurs in a community context, where multipartite microbe-microbe as well as host-microbe interactions exert selective pressure in all interacting partners.

To address these questions, we develop and apply reductionist experimental approaches and computational tools. Using tractable experimental systems based on large-scale microbial culture collections we aim at developing a mechanistic understanding of how microbiota members interact with each other and with their host. Our ultimate goal is to reveal fundamental, quantitative principles governing the dynamic behaviour of host-associated microbial communities.


The five most important publications

  1. Duran, P., Flores-Uribe, J., Wippel, K., Zhang, P., Guan, R., Garrido-Oter, R. Characterization of the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii phycosphere reveals conserved features of the plant microbiota. Nature Communications (2021).

  2. Wippel, K., Tao, K., Niu, Y., Zgadzaj, R., Guan, R., Dahms, E., Zhang, P., Jensen, D. B., Logemann, E., Radutoiu, S., Schulze-Lefert, P.+, Garrido-Oter, R.+. Host preference and invasiveness of commensals in the Lotus and Arabidopsis root microbiota. Nature Microbiology (2021).

  3. Zhang,  P., Spaepen, S., Bai, Y., Hacquard,  S., Garrido-Oter, R. Reference-based error correction of amplicon sequencing data from synthetic communities. ISME Communications (2021).

  4. Garrido-Oter, R.*, Nakano, T. R.*, Dombrowski, N.*, Ma, K., The AgBiome Team, McHardy, A. C. and Schulze-Lefert, P. Modular Traits of the Rhizobiales Root Microbiota and Their Evolutionary Relationship with Symbiotic Rhizobia. Cell Host & Microbe (2018). 

  5. Bai, Y.*, Müller, D. B.*, Srinivas, G.*, Garrido-Oter, R.*, Potthoff, E., Rott, M., Dombrowski, N., Münch, P.C., Spaepen, S., Remus-Emsermann, M., Hüttel, B., McHardy, A., Vorholt, J.A.#, and Schulze-Lefert, P.# Functional overlap of the Arabidopsis leaf and root microbiota. Nature (2015).

              * Joint first authors; # joint corresponding authors.

Dr. Rubén Garrido Oter
CEPLAS Rubén Garrido Oter

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Department of Plant Microbe Interactions
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research