Sarahi Garcia

Sarahi L. Garcia
Stockholm University


Research interests

My research interest lie on microbial interactions in aquatic environments and the effect of these interactions on carbon cycles. I am interested in auxotrophies, metabolic complementarities, metabolic handoffs, microbial market and any kind of microbial cooperation.

Microorganisms are the most phylogenetically diverse and abundant taxa on Earth, and their functions are indispensable in regulating global elemental cycling, bioremediation, human health and other processes. The microbial world can be studied using cultivation-based or cultivation-independent techniques. Cultivation-independent techniques include holistic approaches, such as full community analysis of environmental samples, as well as reductionist approaches, such as single cell genomics. These methodologies have greatly contributed to our current understanding about indispensable microbial functions and their immense diversity. With my research, I have integrated these holistic and reductionist strategies, and leveraged an intermediate approach, such as model communities, allowing me to address new ecological questions about microbial interactions.

Together with collaborators I have studied very abundant and ubiquitous freshwater bacteria called acI (within the phylum Actinobacteria). Using multiple methodological approaches we found that the life strategy of this bacteria features reduced genomic content and cellular maintenance cost, exploiting promiscuous interactions to acquire necessary biomolecules. I am now looking to expand the research into microorganisms with diverse life style in aquatic systems.


Key publications

  1. Garcia, S.L., Szekely, A., Bergvall, C., Schattenhofer, M., Peura, S. 2019. Decreased snow cover stimulates under ice primary producers, but impairs methanotrophic capacity. mSphere doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00626-18
  2. Garcia, S.L., Buck, M., Hamilton, J., Wurzbacher, C., McMahon, K.D., Grossart, H.P., Eiler, A., 2018. Model communities hint at promiscuous metabolic linkages between ubiquitous free-living freshwater bacteria. mSphere doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00202-18
  3. Garcia, S.L., Stevens, S., Crary, B., Martinez-Garcia, M., Stepanauskas, R., Woyke, T., Tringe, S., Andersson, S., Bertilsson, S., Malmstrom, R., McMahon, K.D. 2017. Contrasting patterns of genome-level diversity across distinct co-occurring bacterial populations. ISME J doi:10.1038/s41396-017-0001-0
  4. Garcia, S.L., Buck, M., McMahon, K.D., Grossart, H.P., Eiler, A., Warnecke, F., 2015. Auxotrophy and intra-population complementary in the ‘interactome’ of a cultivated freshwater model community. Mol Ecol doi: 10.1111/mec.13319
  5. Garcia, S.L., 2016. Mixed cultures as model communities: hunting for ubiquitous microorganisms, their partners, and interactions. Aquat Microb Ecol doi: 10.3354/ame01789