Methanogens are part of the human gut microbiome but very little information is known on the interactions between methanogens and the rest of the microbiome. Similarly, while it is becoming increasing clear the bacteriophages play a crucial role in shaping the bacterial communities of microbiomes, our knowledge about the composition and contribution of archaeal viruses within microbiomes remains limited.
The Molitor lab is interested in (i) mining new methanogen-specific viruses and (ii) studying the interaction of these viruses with their methanogenic hosts, both in monoculture and in synthetic defined communities, combining long-term experiments in bioreactors with high throughput sequencing. The long-term goal is to investigate the influence of methanogenic viruses within microbial communities in vivo and to deploy these viruses to modulate the composition of microbiomes.
Dr. Bastian Molitor
is mainly interested in strictly anaerobic microbes and the viruses that infect those microbes. After a degree in biology, and a PhD in microbiology, he did two postdocs in metabolic and bioprocess engineering. He is a group leader in the Environmental Biotechnology group since 2017, and since June 2020 he leads a junior research group in the Cluster of Excellence CMFI. His group utilizes microbiological, genetic engineering, and bioprocessing tools to put microbes to work and unravel the molecular basis for their interactions within microbiomes.