Dr Christian Rinke

Research Fellow

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Faculty of Science
+61 7 336 54957


Christian Rinke is a Research Officer at the Australian Centre for Ecogenomics (ACE), University of Queensland, Australia. He received his PhD in Zoology from the Marine Biology Department at the University of Vienna, Austria and has since shifted his focus to the microbial world.

His research interests include genomics and the phylogeny and ecology of symbiotic and free living microbes. He focuses in particular on the uncultured majority of microbes (99%) which elude current culturing efforts. This so called “Microbial Dark Matter” can only be explored with culture-independent methods. Chris pioneered methods in high throughput single-cell genomics, the separation and sequencing of single bacterial and archaeal cells, and also employs metagenomics (the direct sequencing of environmental samples) to illuminate microbial dark matter.

Research Interests

  • Microbial Dark Matter
    Dr. Rinke’s main interests are genomics, ecology, and phylogeny of uncultured microbes. He applies single-cell genomics, the separation and sequencing of single bacterial and archaeal cells, and metagenomics, the direct sequencing of environmental samples. Both methods are perfectly suited to explore uncultured microbes, also known as microbial dark matter.

Research Impacts

The exploration of Microbial Dark Matter by Dr. Rinke and colleagues set a new standard in microbial single-cell genomics and the resulting single-cell protocol serves as the blue-print in laboratories worldwide. Dr. Rinke has inspired many research groups to explore the field of single-cell genomics by accepting invitations to international conferences to share his single-cell expertise.


  • Dr.rer.nat, The University of Vienna


View all Publications


Journal Article

  • Waite, David W., Vanwonterghem, Inka, Rinke, Christian, Parks, Donovan H., Zhang, Ying, Takai, Ken, Sievert, Stefan M., Simon, Joerg, Campbell, Barbara J., Hanson, Thomas E., Woyke, Tanja, Klotz, Martin G. and Hugenholtz, Philip (2017) Comparative genomic analysis of the class Epsilonproteobacteria and proposed reclassification to Epsilonbacteraeota (phyl. nov.).. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8 682-682. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2017.00682.

  • Kublanov, Ilya V., Sigalova, Olga M., Gavrilov, Sergey N., Lebedinsky, Alexander V., Rinke, Christian, Kovaleva, Olga, Chernyh, Nikolai A., Ivanova, Natalia, Daum, Chris, Reddy, T. B. K., Klenk, Hans-Peter, Spring, Stefan, Göker, Markus, Reva, Oleg N., Miroshnichenko, Margarita L., Kyrpides, Nikos C., Woyke, Tanja, Gelfand, Mikhail S. and Bonch-Osmolovskaya, Elizaveta A. (2017) Genomic analysis of Caldithrix abyssi, the thermophilic anaerobic bacterium of the novel bacterial phylum Calditrichaeota. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8 195: . doi:10.3389/fmicb.2017.00195

  • Lux, Markus, Kruger, Jan, Rinke, Christian, Maus, Irena, Schluter, Andreas, Woyke, Tanja, Sczyrba, Alexander and Hammer, Barbara (2016) Acdc - automated contamination detection and confidence estimation for single-cell genome data. BMC Bioinformatics, 17 1: . doi:10.1186/s12859-016-1397-7

  • Rinke, Christian, Low, Serene, Woodcroft, Ben J., Raina, Jean-Baptista, Skarshewski, Adam, Le, Xuyen H., Butler, Margaret K., Stocker, Roman, Seymour, Justin, Tyson, Gene W. and Hugenholtz, Philip (2016) Validation of picogram- and femtogram-input DNA libraries for microscale metagenomics. PeerJ, 4 1-28. doi:10.7717/peerj.2486

  • Nobu, Masaru K., Dodsworth, Jeremy A., Murugapiran, Senthil K., Rinke, Christian, Gies, Esther A., Webster, Gordon, Schwientek, Patrick, Kille, Peter, Parkes, R. John, Sass, Henrik, Jorgensen, Bo B., Weightman, Andrew J., Liu, Wen-Tso, Hallam, Steven J., Tsiamis, George, Woyke, Tanja and Hedlund, Brian P. (2016) Phylogeny and physiology of candidate phylum 'Atribacteria' (OP9/JS1) inferred from cultivation-independent genomics. The ISME Journal, 10 2: 273-286. doi:10.1038/ismej.2015.97

  • Rinke, Christian, Schwientek, Patrick, Sczyrba, Alexander, Ivanova, Natalia N., Anderson, Iain J., Cheng, Jan-Fang, Darling, Aaron, Malfatti, Stephanie, Swan, Brandon K., Gies, Esther A., Dodsworth, Jeremy A., Hedlund, Brian P., Tsiamis, George, Sievert, Stefan M., Liu, Wen-Tso, Eisen, Jonathan A., Hallam, Steven J., Kyrpides, Nikos C., Stepanauskas, Ramunas, Rubin, Edward M., Hugenholtz, Philip and Woyke, Tanja (2013) Insights into the phylogeny and coding potential of microbial dark matter. Nature, 499 7459: 431-437. doi:10.1038/nature12352

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)