Research Program

Bacteria spawn exponentially in an ideal environment, but in most natural habitats, bacteria are at least temporarilly exposed to adverese conditions, arresting their growth through abiotic and biotic challenges.

How bacteria cope with this conditions is the main topic of this Research Training Group. The underlying idea assumed that the constant selective pressure throughout bacterial evolution resulted in the acquisition of eleborate strategies in the microbes for withstanding and overcoming such unfavourable conditions. Therefore, these processes can be considered to be of fundamental importance for bacteria to protect their ninches and to colonize new habitats. This topic is of particular relevance in bacterial ecology and physiology for understanding the persistence of bacteria in their environment for the dispersal of bacterial pathogens and for the development of new antimicrobial drugs.

In this Graduate School, the molecular mechanisms of different bacterial survival strategies will be researched in an exemplary way. The different experimental systems (chemolithotrophic, chemoorganotrophic and phototrophic bacteria of both pathogenic and non –pathogenic types) should give an insight on the scope of the survival strategies adopted by bacteria. In particular, we will focus our research on the metabolism maintenance, detoxification and repair as well as the formation of protective substances and structures. Thus, the possible mutual interaction among different survival strategies can also be identified and investigated.

The integrative Concept: a surplus value of the RTG

Each subproject considers a determined aspect of the molecular mechanisms of bacterial survival strategies.

The findings are discussed within the RTG Core Seminar with the other Graduates and project leaders, which leads to an exchange of ideas and promotes new experimental approaches.

This also leads to the experimental networking of the groups, which dispose of different methodological and technical possibilities and thus enable the graduates to choose from an enormous potential of experimental possibilities and scientific experience. By joining different projects that commonly address bacterial survival strategies but are originated from contrasting scientific fields.

This can be achieved through the development of different platforms:

• Methods Collection

• Methodical Platforms

• Acces to high-end methodologies