Scientific Staff – University of Copenhagen

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Andreas Altenburger

Andreas Altenburger


  • Natural History Museum of Denmark

    Øster Voldgade 5-7

    1350 København K

    Phone: +45 35 33 28 51

Current research

The aim of my work is to understand organelle sequestration and acquired phototrophy in marine unicellular organisms. I use transcriptomics and focus on a cascade of organisms that have acquired the ability to photosynthesis: it starts with the microalgae Teleaulax acuta which has a permanent symbiotic chloroplast and gets eaten by the ciliate Mesodinium rubrum. M. rubrum keeps T. acutas chloroplast, nucleus and other cell organelles in order to acquire the ability to photosynthesis. M. rubrum itself gets eaten by the dinoflagellate Dinophysis. Dinophysis spp. keeps the chloroplast that originally came from T. acuta. I try to understand changes in gene expression when T. acuta chloroplasts are enslaved, as this will reveal principal mechanisms in the evolution of acquired phototrophy and serve as starting point for gene expression analyses in other mixotroph organisms, which can acquire and keep chloroplasts from other cells but are not able to keep and divide them permanently.

I thus focus on early steps in the evolution of permanent chloroplast endosymbiosis. This may serve as a model for what happened during the evolution of the chloroplast more than 1 billion years ago.

Selected publications

  1. Published
  2. Published

    Neuromuscular development in Novocrania anomala: evidence for the presence of serotonin and a spiralian-like apical organ in lecithotrophic brachiopod larvae

    Altenburger, A. & Wanninger, A. W. G. 2010 In : Evolution & Development. 12, 1, p. 16-24 9 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  3. Published

    Metamorphosis in Craniiformea revisited: Novocrania anomala shows delayed development of the ventral valve

    Altenburger, A., Wanninger, A. & Holmer, L. E. Dec 2013 In : Zoomorphology. 132, 4, p. 379-387 9 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  4. Published

    Zelinkaderes yong sp. nov. from Korea – the first recording of Zelinkaderes (Kinorhyncha: Cyclorhagida) in Asia

    Altenburger, A., Rho, H. S., Chang, C. Y. & Sørensen, M. V. 2015 In : Zoological Studies. 54, 13 p., 25

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

Selected activities

  1. BGI-Shenzen

    Altenburger, A. (Visiting researcher)
    6 Aug 20174 Sep 2017

    Activity: Visiting an external institutionVisiting an external academic institution

  2. Fifteenth International Meiofauna Conference in KOREA

    Altenburger, A. (Speaker)
    22 Jul 201326 Jul 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

  3. 108th Annual Meeting of the German Zoological Society (DZG)

    Altenburger, A. (Speaker)
    11 Sep 2015

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

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