Rafael Yavetz 

   The effect of temperature and food availability on the energy budget, physiology and microbiome  B of Brachidontes    pharaonic, a case study for the eastern Mediterranean Sea


Ph.D. candidate 

Introduction
TheLevantBasinisanoligotrophicseawithextremetemperaturefluctuationsfrom160to300.ThegradientfromthewesterntotheeasternbasinoftheMediterraneanofthesetwocomponentsisbelievedtoberesponsibleforthephenomenaknownasLevantinenanism(Soninetal.,200)Brachiodontespharaonisasmallmusselthatinhabitsthelittoralandshallowsub-littoralzones,livingindensecolonies.ThisspeciesinvadedtheMediterraneanfromtheRedSeaover150yearsandreachedasfarasthewesternbasin.Themusselinhabitsawidevarietyofhabitats,bothdeepandshallow,fromnaturaltoman-mademarinas,oligotrophicandareaswithhighorganicmattercontent(Mohammed-Gebaetal.,2020).
Themicrobiomeisanintegralpartofeveryorganismandenvironment.Itshostandmicrobiotaarereferredtoastheholobiont.Thebacterialcommunitystructureisverydynamicandcanrapidlyshiftdependingontheenvironmentalconditionandhostphysiology.Hencethecharacterizationofthemicrobiomecanserveasanindicatorofhostandenvironmentalhealth.
Ph.D. research plan presented by Rafael Yavetz,
Advisors: Dr Dalit Meronand Prof. Dani Tchernov
Research objectives
1. Testing the effects of temperature and food availability on the physiology and energy budget of B. pharaonis.
2. Examining the RNA/DNA ratio as an indicator of the rate of metabolism.
3. Characterizing the microbiome associated with B. pharaonisand their seasonal variation.
4. Testing the effects of temperature and food availability on B. pharaonismicrobial community and its role in regulating metabolism.
5. Examining the effect of Pharmaceutically active compounds found in the marine environment on the B. pharaonisphysiology and associated microbiome community.

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