The research at the del Campo Lab is focused on the study of host-associated microbes and the effect of global warming on the microbiomes of benthic and planktonic marine animals. We have a wet and dry lab, to perform experiments and bioinformatics analysis, enabling the broadest possible goals.

Effects of ocean warming on the microbiomes of benthic and planktonic marine animals. Ongoing climate change and its effects on the environment, such as rising sea temperature, has strong impacts on free-living marine microbial communities. However, the effects of global warming have not been properly studied on host-associated microbiomes. Microbiomes (both prokaryotic and eukaryotic) associated with host organisms have a strong influence on host evolution, physiology, and ecological functions. We study how environmental changes resulting from global warming affect the composition and function of the microbiomes in key members of the marine fauna and consequently how these changes affect the hosts. Currently, our study focuses on these impacts on corals, teleost fish, and zooplankton. To tackle this novel research topic, we use a combination of molecular biology, ecophysiology, and bioinformatics.

The eukaryotic microbiome. Unlike the study of the bacterial fraction of the microbiome, the study of the micro-eukaryotes associated with animals has largely been restricted to visual identification or molecular targeting of particular groups. The application of high-throughput sequencing approaches, such as those used to look at bacteria, has been limited because the barcode gene we use to study microeukaryotes ecology and distribution in the environment, the 18S rRNA gene, is also present in the host animals. As a result, when host-associated microbial eukaryotes are analyzed the retrieved sequences are dominated by the host. Stemming from my work on coral-associated microeukaryotes, we successfully implemented an approach that avoids the amplification of metazoan host genes, which allows us to use high throughput methods to study the microeukaryotic communities of animals. This approach opens the door to the study of diversity and distribution of microeukaryotes in a myriad of environments, from the coral surface to the human gut.

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Principal Investigator


Investigador Distinguido CSIC
Microbial Ecology & Evolution

Current members

Anthony Bonacolta

Bonacolta, Anthony
Visiting Predoctoral Researcher from University of Miami
Microbial Ecology and Evolution

Teresa Porta Fitó

Porta Fitó, Teresa
Scientific support personnel
Microbial Ecology and Evolution

Bradley Weiler

Weiler, Bradley
Visiting Predoctoral Researcher from University of Miami
Microbial Ecology and Evolution

Ongoing projects


Minardi D, Ryder D, Del Campo J, Fonseca VG, Kerr R, Mortensen S, Pallavicini A, Bass D. 2022. Improved high throughput protocol for targeting eukaryotic symbionts in metazoan and eDNA samples. Molecular Ecology Resources, 22(2):664-678. DOI:10.1111/1755-0998.13509

Singh RA, Boscaro V, James ER, Karnkowska A, Kolisko M, Gavelis GS, Okamoto N, del Campo J, Fiorito R, Hehenberger E, Irwin NAT, Mathur V, Scheffrahn RH, Keeling PJ. 2021. Characterization of new cristamonad species from kalotermitid termites including a novel genus, Runanympha. Scientific Reports, 11(7270): 1–12. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-86645-w

Orkin JD, Montague MJ, Tejada-Martinez D, de Manuel M, Del Campo J, Cheves Hernandez S, Di Fiore A, Fontsere C, Hodgson JA, Janiak MC, Kuderna LFK, Lizano E, Martin MP, Niimura Y, Perry GH, Valverde CS, Tang J, Warren WC, de Magalhães JP, Kawamura S, Marquès-Bonet T, Krawetz R, Melin AD. 2021. The genomics of ecological flexibility, large brains, and long lives in capuchin monkeys revealed with fecalFACS. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(7). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2010632118.