to the Department of Microbiology/Organismic Interactions
Research in our group is mainly focused on the molecular biology of cyanobacteria. The cyanobacteria compose the most widely distributed phyla of bacteria on earth, dominating primary production in the oceans and in many extreme environments. Within the bacterial kingdom, cyanobacteria show unique cellular features, highlighted by the existence of true multicellularity in filament forming species. Many species are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen or produce potent toxins. Therefore, they play a crucial role in large ecosystems and are pivotal for the biogeochemical cycles of our planet. Their efficient metabolism harbours various promising biotechnological applications.
Our research focus is to understand the molecular basis of cyanobacterial physiology and cell biology. In particular, we investigate molecular systems that provide cyanobacteria with the ability to sense the metabolic state and acclimate to changing ambient conditions or to survive in challenging environments such as nutrient starvation. The synthesis of biopolymers by cyanobacteria is another focus area of our research. Furthermore, we study features of cyanobacterial multicellularity and cell-cell communication.
Research in the "Microbiology/Glycobiology group" headed by Apl. Prof. Dr. Christoph Mayer aims at understanding the cell wall (peptidoglycan, teichoic acid) and sugar metabolism of bacteria and bacterial consortia.