Algae may not feature highly in our general human awareness but their importance in terms of ecology and industrial application can hardly be exaggerated. Recent studies highlight that the relationship between algae and the microbial community living with them (the algal microbiome) are of critical importance to algal biology – and as such to algal aquaculture. The ALgal Microbiome: Friends and Foes (ALFF) project has been designed to improve our understanding of these relationships – ranging from the essential to the devastatingly harmful.
ALFF is a 4 year programme funded by the prestigious Horizon 2020 MSC Initial Training Networks (ITN) programme of the European Union to develop 15 outstanding researchers in the fields of algal biotechnology and aquaculture. Their work will contribute to the future development of these major growth industries. ALFF combines multidisciplinary research-based projects, each with a focus on either pathogens, mutualistic symbionts, endosymbiotic micro-organisms, biofilms or bioinformatics.