Uncovering the origin of symbiosis


Credit: Research team Professor Lutz Becks

Lutz Becks is a professor of limnology at the University of Konstanz’s Department of Biology and director of the university’s Limnological Institute. He will receive approximately 1.8 million euros from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to explore the genetic and cellular mechanisms of symbiosis. His five-year research project entitled “Will you kindly cooperate?” will be funded in the context of the investigator programme of the “Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative”, which was launched by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in 2019. With a total budget of 140 million US dollars (approximately 130 million euros), the initiative’s aim is to learn how symbioses between microorganisms function and evolve in marine and freshwater environments.

Read more about Lutz Becks’s research project in the “Press releases” section of the University of Konstanz’s webpage: https://www.uni-konstanz.de/en/university/news-and-media/current-announcements/press-releases/press-releases-in-detail/dem-ursprung-der-symbiose-auf-der-spur/



  • University of Konstanz limnologist Professor Lutz Becks awarded funding in the amount of approximately EUR 1.8 million by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
  • The five-year research project will explore the genetic and cellular mechanisms of symbiosis as well as the environmental conditions that favour or hinder the evolution of symbiotic life forms.
  • Funding amount: Approx. EUR 1.8 million.
  • Funding period: Five years.
  • More information about Professor Becks’s working group at the University of Konstanz: http://www.limnologie.uni-konstanz.de/en/ag-becks/
  • For more information about the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the “Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative”, please visit http://www.moore.org/home. Please also consult the foundation’s general announcement on this topic: http://www.moore.org/article-detail?newsUrlName=advancing-the-frontier-of-aquatic-symbiosis-research
  • Professor Becks’s profile on the webpage of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is available at: http://www.moore.org/investigator-detail?investigatorId=becks

Note to editors:

You can download a photo here: https://cms.uni-konstanz.de/fileadmin/pi/fileserver/2020/Bilder/dem_ursprung.jpg

Caption: Paramecium without symbiont (left) and Paramecium after taking in a symbiont (right).

Image: Research team Professor Lutz Becks


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