Molecular and Cellular Evolution of Microbial Eukaryotes

Dr. Eva Heinz

Contact information

  • Phone number:
  • e-mail adress: eva.heinz (at)

Work description

I carried out my PhD work at the Department of Microbial Ecology at the University of Vienna (Austria) working on chlamydiae, a group of obligate intracellular bacteria comprising important pathogens of humans and animals. In the course of my thesis I performed a comprehensive in silico analysis of the outer membrane protein composition of the Chlamydiae, which can be found in the online database pcomp, and furthermore performed a proteomics study on the outer membrane of Protochlamydia amoebophila, a non-pathogenic member of the Chlamydiae, which thrives as an endosymbiont of Acanthamoeba spp. I also worked on the characterisation of a group of chlamydial virulence factors (Incs) in P. amoebophila and was furthermore involved in analyses of newly sequenced chlamydial genomes and deep evolutionary relationships of the Chlamydiae.

During my time as a Marie-Curie fellow at Newcastle University I will work on the analysis of the newly sequenced genome of Trachipleistophora hominis, a member of the Microsporidia, a fungi-related group of over 1200 species of obligate intracellular parasites infecting other eukaryotes, including immuno-compromised patients with HIV/AIDS. The main aims are to improve our understanding of Microsporidia with special regard to their reduced metabolic pathways, their dependence on host metabolism and the transport proteins used to exploit this - including their localisation and functional characterisation, the evolution of the Microsporidia genomes including patterns of gene flux through vertical and lateral gene transfer, and the function of their remnant mitochondria.

Eva has now moved to Monash University to work on bacterial cell envelopes, her new contact details are:

Dr. Eva Heinz

Monash University

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Clayton Campus, Bldg 76

Clayton, VIC3800


Eva's publications

  • Nakjang S, Williams TA, Heinz E, Watson AK, Foster PG, Sendra KM, Heaps SE, Hirt RP, Embley TM. Reduction and expansion in microsporidian genome evolution: new insights from comparative genomics. Genome Biol Evol. vol 5 p. 2285-303 (2013). pubmed
  • Heinz E, Williams TA, Nakjang S, Noel CJ, Swan DC, Goldberg AV, Harris SR, Weinmaier T, Markert S, Becher D, Bernhardt J, Dagan T, Hacker C, Lucocq JM, Schweder T, Rattei T, Hall N, Hirt RP, Embley TM. The Genome of the Obligate Intracellular Parasite Trachipleistophora hominis: New Insights into Microsporidian Genome Dynamics and Reductive Evolution. PLoS Pathog. vol 8 p. e1002979 (2012). pubmed
  • Collingro A, Tischler P, Weinmaier T, Penz T, Heinz E, Brunham RC, Read TD, Bavoil PM, Sachse K, Kahane S, Friedman MG, Rattei T, Myers GSA, Horn M. Unity in Variety - the Pan-Genome of the Chlamydiae. Molecular Biology and Evolution. epub (2011). pubmed
  • Sixt BS, HeinzC, Pichler P, Heinz E, Montanaro J, op den Camp HJM, Ammerer G, Mechtler K, Wagner M, Horn M. Proteomic analysis reveals a virtually complete set of proteins for translation and energy generation in elementary bodies of the amoeba symbiont Protochlamydia amoebophila. Proteomics. vol 11 p. 1868-92 (2011). pubmed
  • Williams TA, Embley TM, Heinz E. Informational Gene Phylogenies Do Not Support a Fourth Domain of Life for Nucleocytoplasmic Large DNA Viruses. PLoS ONE. vol 6 p. doi:10.1371/ (2011). pubmed
  • Heinz E, Pichler P, Heinz C, op den Camp HJM, Toenshoff ER, Ammerer G, Mechtler K, Wagner M, Horn M. Proteomic analysis of the outer membrane of Protochlamydia amoebophila elementary bodies. Proteomics. vol 10 p. 4363-76 (2010). pubmed
  • Heinz E, Rockey DD, Montanaro J, Aistleitner K, Wagner M, Horn M. Inclusion membrane proteins of Protochlamydia amoebophila UWE25 reveal a conserved mechanism for host cell interaction among the Chlamydiae. Journal of Bacteriology. vol 192 p. 5093-102 (2010). pubmed
  • Arnold R, Brandmaier S, Kleine F, Tischler P, Heinz E, Behrens S, Niinikoski A, Mewes H-W, Horn M, Rattei T. Sequence-based prediction of Type III secreted proteins. PLoS Pathog. vol 5 p. e1000376 (2009). pubmed
  • Heinz E, Tischler P, Rattei T, Myers G, Wagner M, Horn M. Comprehensive in silico prediction and analysis of chlamydial outer membrane proteins reflects evolution and life style of the Chlamydiae. BMC Genomics. vol 10 p. 634 (2009). pubmed
  • Schmitz-Esser S, Toenshoff ER, Haider S, Heinz E, Hoenninger VM, Wagner M, Horn M. Diversity of bacterial endosymbionts of environmental Acanthamoeba isolates. Appl Environ Microbiol. vol 74 p. 5822-31 (2008). pubmed
  • Heinz E, Kolarov I, Kaestner C, Toenshoff ER, Wagner M, Horn M. An Acanthamoeba sp. containing two phylogenetically different bacterial endosymbionts. Environ. Microbiol.. vol 9 p. 1604-9 (2007). pubmed
  • Collingro A, Poppert S, Heinz E, Schmitz-Esser S, Essig A, Schweikert M, Wagner M, Horn M. Recovery of an environmental Chlamydia strain from activated sludge by co-cultivation with Acanthamoeba sp.. Microbiology. vol 151 p. 301-9 (2005). pubmed