Institut für Evolution und Ökologie


Does glyphosate, a globally used and controversial herbicide, affect the gut microbiome of fish with consequences for individual vitality, immunocompetence and health?
Acronym: GLYMIK

The aim of the BMBF-funded collaborative project Glymik (duration Nov. 2020- Oct. 2023) is to demonstrate possible effects of the herbicide glyphosate, one of its formulations (Roundup) and its main metabolite AMPA on brown trout as representatives of aquatic ecosystems. For this purpose, the health status of exposed fish, the integrity of their gut and gill microbiome, and their immunocompetence will be investigated. In the Tübingen subproject, the exposure experiments are performed and the fish are assessed with respect to their health status and specific immune responses. In order to establish causality between chemical exposure and the effects in fish, and to exclude non-specific influences, the effect of the herbicide on the primary molecular target in the fish microbiome will be gradually manipulated or switched off experimentally. The project thus explicitly elaborates mechanistic relationships between exposure to glyphosate, influences on the fish microbiome and responses of a holobiont (i.e. the entirety of the organism fish including its microbiome).

Cooperation partners:

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schwartz, KIT Karlsruhe, Institute for Functional Interfaces (IFG), Department of Microbiology/Molecular Biology; Microbiome analyses.
Dr. Baubak Bajoghli, University Hospital Tübingen, Department of Internal Medicine II, Laboratory for Translational Oncology and Immunology: qPCR, in situ hybridization.
Prof. Dr. Anne-Kristin Kaster, AG for Biotechnology and Microbial Genetics, Institute for Biological Interfaces of KIT Karlsruhe. Cooperation on characterization of the microbiome by Next Generation Sequencing.
Prof. Dr. Helmut Segner, Center for Fish and Wildlife Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, CH. Support in the implementation of the challenge experiments.