Microbiology and Infection Biology
Microorganisms (bacteria, archaea, viruses and small eukaryotes) represent the most dominant forms of life on earth. They are of crucial importance for all ecosystems, infection processes, have a high impact on our climate and the global nutrient cycles. Further they are of high relevance for sustainable and modern biotechnology. Therefore, within the section of ‘Microbiology and Infection’ the department biology follows up several lines of research:
Bacteria and archaea play an important role in al global nutrient cycles. Currently we are mainly interested in C- and N-cycling. Thereby, we identify and analyze the microbial communities and main players involved in these nutrient cycles. We are interested in the physiology, the phylogenetic diversity and the biochemistry of these organisms and analyze their role within the global nutrient cycles.
Microorganisms are useful tools for biotechnology. Therefore, we exploit them for their use in biotechnology and sustainable bioindustries. Thereby we develop novel biocatalysts for the production of high value biomolecules such as antimicrobials, search for bacteria degrading plastic and seek for solutions to prevent unwanted biofilm formation. The construction of designer bacteria using synthetic biology is also part of our research.
Within the infection related research, we are seeking answers to the following questions: How do microorganisms infect their hosts and what are the main mechanisms employed in host infection? How does the microbiome influence the development and adaptation of higher organisms? How do microorganisms (pathogenic and non-pathogenic) communicate with each other and with their hosts?
For all these research fields we use a broad spectrum of methods and technologies from molecular biology, biochemistry and structural biology.
The following units contribute to the research area Microbiology and Infection Biology:
The following associated units contribute to the research area Microbiology and Infection Biology:
Cellular Parasitology, Bernhard-Nocht-Institut für Tropenmedizin (BNITM)
Arbovirology, Bernhard-Nocht-Institut für Tropenmedizin (BNITM)
Molecular Entomology, Bernhard-Nocht-Institut für Tropenmedizin (BNITM)
Viral Transformation, Heinrich-Pette-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Experimentelle Virologie (HPI)