Dr. Thomas Reitz

Contact / Address

Dr. Thomas Reitz
Working Group Leader

Department of Soil Ecology
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Theodor-Lieser-Strasse 4 | D-06120 Halle/Saale


+49 345 5585 409
+49 345 5585 449

Thomas Reitz

Current position

since 2011

Working Group Leader at the Department of Soil Ecology, UFZ-Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle



Ph.D. in Applied Natural Sciences

Helmholtz-Centre Dresden-Rossendorf, Institute of Resource Ecology and TU Bergakademie Freiberg (Supervisors: Sonja Selenska-Pobell and Michael Schlömann)
Thesis: "U(VI) bioaccumulation by Paenibacillus sp. JG-TB8 and Sulfolobus acidocaldarius;Au(0) nanoclusters formation on the S-layer of S. acidocaldarius" Link


Diploma in Biology, Major subject: Microbiology, Minor subjects: Genetics and Biotechnology, TU Dresden, Thesis: "Einfluss von Uran auf die Archaea-Diversität in Bodenproben aus der Haberlandhalde"

Research interests

  • Role of phoshate solubilizing bacteria in the soil P-cycle
  • Adaption of microbial communities to long-term management practices
  • Microbial community shifts caused by global change
  • Archaeal diversity in soils
  • Microbial resistance and detoxification mechanisms against/of heavy metals


  • Sanger-Sequencing
  • Plate assays for measuring enzyme activities of the P-cycle 
  • Spectroscopic methods (FT-IR, XAS, TRLFS)

Cooperations at the UFZ

Dr. E. Schulz, Dr. J. Gutknecht, Dr. T. Wubet, Dr. M. Tarkka (BOOEK): Changes in the soil microbial community structure and its ecophysiological function caused by different, long-term (110 a) fertilization levels.  Link to the Experimental Research Station in Bad Lauchstädt

Dr. I. Merbach, Dr. H. Auge, Dr. Martin Schädler (BZF), Dr. E. Schulz, Dr. J. Gutknecht, Dr. T. Wubet, Dr. M. Tarkka (BOOEK): Response of plant communities to drought periods in early and late summer (see also external coorperations)

Cooperations with other partners

Cooperation partners for preparing a third-party application for future research in the new Global Change Experimental Facility (GCEF) of the UFZ:

Prof. Christian Wirth and Dr. Alexandra Weigelt, University of Leipzig, Institute of Systematic Botany & Functional Biodiversity

Prof. Isabel Hensen, Prof. Helge Bruelheide, Dr. Susanne Lachmuth, Dr. Erik Welk, University of Halle, Institute of Biology, Geobotany and Botanical Garden

The initiated preliminary experiment focuses on the response of plant communities to drought periods in early and late summer as proposed for the region by some climate change models. The plant communities consist of species with different geographic distributions in Europe. The question is whether those species which are today mainly distributed in the southwestern part of Europe are better adapted to drought periods than those which are mainly distributed in the northeastern part.


Medinski, T., Freese, D., Reitz, T. (2018)
Changes in soil phosphorus balance and phosphorus use efficiency under long-term fertilization conducted on agriculturally-used Chernozem in Germany.
Canadian Journal of Soil Science. DOI: org/10.1139/CJSS-2018-0061

Van Laak, M., Klingenberg, U., Peiter, E., Reitz, T., Zimmer, D., Buczko, U. (2018)
The equivalence of the Calcium-Acetate-Lactate and Double-Lactate extraction methods to assess soil phosphorus fertility.
Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science. DOI: 10.1002/jpln.201700366

Buczko, U., van Laak, M., Eichler-Löbmann, B., Gans, W., Merbach, I., Panten, K., Peiter, E., Reitz, T., Spiegel, H., von Tucher, S. (2018)
Re-evaluation of the yield response to phosphorus fertilization based on meta-analyses of long-term field experiments.
Ambio 47 (Suppl.1): 50-61. DOI: 10.1007/s13280-017-0971-1

Francioli, D., Schulz, E., Buscot, F., Reitz, T. (2018)
Dynamics of soil bacterial communities over a vegetation season relate to both soil nutrient status and plant growth phenology.
Microbial Ecology 75(1): 216-227. DOI: 10.1007/s00248-017-1012-0

Francioli, D., Schulz, E., Lentendu, G., Wubet, T., Buscot, F., Reitz, T. (2016)
Mineral vs. organic amendments: microbial community structure, activity and abundance of agriculturally relevant microbes are driven by long-term fertilization strategies.
Frontiers of Microbiology 7: 1446. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01446

Francioli, D., Schulz, E., Purahong, W., Buscot, F., Reitz, T. (2016)
Reinoculation elucidates mechanisms of bacterial community assembly in soil and reveals undetected microbes.
Biology and Fertility of Soils 52(8): 1073-1083. DOI: 10.1007/s00374-016-1141-5

Purahong, W., Stempfhuber, B., Lentendu, G., Francioli, D., Reitz, T., Buscot, F., Schloter, M., Krüger, D. (2015)
Influence of commonly used primer systems on automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis of bacterial communities in environmental samples.
PLoS ONE 10(3): e0118967. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118967

Reitz, T., Rossberg, A., Barkleit, A., Selenska-Pobell, S., Merroun, M.L. (2015)
Spectroscopic study on uranyl carboxylate complexes formed at the surface layer of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius.
Dalton Transactions 44: 2684-2692. DOI: 10.1039/C4DT02555E

Reitz, T., Rossberg, A., Barkleit, A., Selenska-Pobell, S., Merroun, M.L. (2014)
Decrease of U(VI) immobilization capability of the facultative anaerobic strain Paenibacillus sp. JG-TB8 under anoxic conditions due to strongly reduced phosphatase activity.
PLoS ONE 9(8): e102447 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102447

Morcillo, F., Gonzalez-Munoz, M. T., Reitz, T., Romero-Gonzalez, M. E., Arias, J. M., Merroun, M.L. (2014)
Biosorption and Biomineralization of U(VI) by the marine bacterium Idiomarina loihiensis MAH1: effect of background electrolyte and pH.
PLoS ONE 9(3): e91305 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091305

Bartolomé, J., Bartolomé, F., García, L.M., Figueroa, A.I., Repollés, A., Martínez-Pérez, M.J., Luis, F., Magén, C., Selenska-Pobell, S., Pobell, F., Reitz, T., Schönemann, R., Herrmannsdörfer, T., Merroun, M., Geissler, A., Wilhelm, F., Rogalev, A. (2012)
Strong paramagnetism of gold nanoparticles deposited on a Sulfolobus acidocaldarius S-layer.
Physical Review Letters 109, 247203. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.247203

Reitz, T., Merroun, M.L., Rossberg, A., Steudtner, R., Selenska-Pobell, S. (2011)
Bioaccumulation of U(VI) by Sulfolobus acidocaldarius under moderate acidic conditions.
Radiochimica acta 99, 543-553. DOI: 10.1524/ract2011.1848

Merroun, M.L., Nedelkova, M., Ojeda, J., Reitz, T., López Fernández, M., Arias, J. M., Romero-González, M., Selenska-Pobell, S. (2011)
Bio-precipitation of uranium by two bacterial isolates recovered from extreme environments as estimated by potentiometric titration, TEM and X-ray absorption spectroscopic analyses.
Journal of Hazardous Materials 197, 1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.hazmat.2011.09.049

Selenska-Pobell S., Reitz, T., Schönemann, R., Herrmansdörfer, T., Merroun, M.L., Geißler, A., Bartolomé, J., Bartolomé, F., García, L.M., Wilhelm, F., Rogalev, A. (2011)
Magnetic Au nanoparticles on archaeal S-layer ghosts as templates.
Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology 1, 8-16. DOI: 10.5772/50955

Reitz, T., Merroun, M.L., Rossberg, A., Selenska-Pobell, S. (2010)
Interactions of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius with uranium.
Radiochimica acta 98, 249-257. DOI: 10.1524/ract.2010.1716