Research cooperations


LOEWE Research Center for Synthetic Microbiology (SYNMIKRO)



The Philipps-Universität and the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology recently were granted more than 40 million Euro in funding from 2010 to 2015 to establish the LOEWE Research Center for Synthetic Microbiology (SYNMIKRO). The LOEWE Program is an excellence initiative of the state of Hessen to support excellent research at universities and other research institutions in Hessen.
Website of SYNMIKRO



LOEWE research cluster FACE2FACE - Effects of climate change, adjusting to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (Werner Liesack "Soil microbiota")
Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations lead to increased above-ground plant growth and increased production of fine roots, as well as to changes in C and N fluxes in soils and soil aggregates. Effects of global climate change on the phylogenetic and functional diversity of rhizosphere microbial communities were repeatedly analyzed, but with inconsistent results. Reasons may be differences in the experimental conditions (e.g., related to soil type, composition of plant communities, climate), but also in the sensitivity of the methods used for analysis. This workpackage of FACE2FACE aims to assess the effects of an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration and air temperature on the diversity and activity of microbial communities in agricultural soils pertaining to pastureland, viticulture and horticulture. The research will be performed using cultivation-independent molecular ecology techniques, in particular next-generation sequencing of total RNA.
Website Face2Face



The Marburg Graduate School 1216 "Intra- and Intercellular Transport and Communication" (Prof. Lotte Søgaard-Andersen, Prof. Dr. Regine Kahmann).
Research in the graduate school focuses on underlying cell–cell communication, cell polarity, and cellular compartmentalization using state-of-the-art methods in molecular and, cellular biology including live-cell imaging and biochemistry. The faculty members of the graduate school are from the Max Planck Institute or the Philipps-Universität. Graduate students follow a structured training program.
Website: Graduate School: Intra- and Intercellular Transport and Communication.



International Max Planck Research School for Environmental, Cellular and Molecular Microbiology.



Research in the graduate school aims at understanding how microorganisms compete, adapt, and differentiate in response to changes in the environment. To reach this aim, microbial ecology is tightly integrated with molecular and cellular microbiology and microbial physiology and biochemistry. The faculty members of the graduate school are from the Max Planck Institute or the Philipps-Universität.
Website: Graduate School: IMPRS for Environmental, Cellular & Molecular Microbiology



Collaborative Research CenterSFB987: Microbial Diversity in Environmental Signal Response.
Microorganisms are omnipresent in the biosphere and provide the greatest diversity of life on our planet. They successfully colonize almost every possible ecological niche, regardless of welcoming or hostile conditions, either as highly specialized individual cells, as microbial communities or by forming complex multi-cellular structures. A key factor for their success in colonizing varying habitats is the enormous biochemical, physiological and cellular adaptation potential of microorganisms in response to countless environmental conditions and cues. By generating microbial species with unique metabolic and cellular attributes, microbial diversity is the answer to the demands of evolution. This sets the stage for their ability to adapt to changing conditions within a given ecosystem and to explore new opportunities in novel environmental settings. For most microorganisms there is only one certainty: change!
Website: SFB 987: Microbial Diversity in Environmental Signal Response



DFG Research Group FOR1680 CRISPR/Cas: "Unraveling the prokaryotic immune system" (Dr. Lennart Randau) The FOR1680 consortium teams up scientists with expertise in microbiology, bioinformatics, structural biology and mass spectrometry. Their common goal is the elucidation of a recently discovered prokaryotic immune system based on "Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats" (CRISPR). CRISPR elements are found in the genomes of many Bacteria and nearly all Archaea and present small RNA-based mechanisms to defend the host cell against the attack of mobile genetic elements. (Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Anita Marchfelder, Universität Ulm)
Website: FOR1680 CRISPR/Cas



DFG Research Group FOR 1701 Introducing Non-Flooded Crops in Rice-Dominated Landscapes: Impact on Carbon, Nitrogen and Water Cycles (ICON):
"Effect of crop rotation on the processes and microbial communities involved in methane production in rice fields". (Prof. Dr. Ralf Conrad)
The interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research unit ICON aims at exploring and quantifying the ecological consequences of future changes in rice production in SE Asia. A particular focus will be on the consequences of altered flooding regimes (flooded vs. non-flooded), crop diversification (wet rice vs. dry rice vs. maize) and different crop management strategies (N fertilization) on the biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nitrogen, the associated green-house gas emissions, the water balance, and other important ecosystem services of rice cropping systems. Website: Project details at GEPRIS



Human Frontier Science Program (Dr. Martin Thanbichler).
The aim of this project, funded by a Young Investigator Grant from the Human Fronier Science Program (HFSP), is the discovery and analysis of new cytoskeletal elements in bacteria. Fluorescent protein fusion libraries in conjunction with high-throughput microscopic analysis are used to identify filament-forming proteins in vivo. Subsequently, the function of these proteins is analyzed using cell biological, biochemical, and biophysical approaches. In addition, chemical libraries are screened for small molecule inhibitors of bacterial cytoskeletal proteins, suitable for basic research and medical applications
Website: Human Frontier Science Program



Sulfosys Biotec - Applied Sulfolobus Systems Biology: Exploiting the hot archaeal metabolic potential for Biotechnology (Dr. Sonja-Verena Albers).
The metabolism of the Archaea, the third domain of life, is characterized by many "new" unique enzymes that differ from their bacterial and eukaryal counterparts. Despite this fabulous wealth of new biocatalysts, Archaea are not commercially exploited so far and the complexity of the archaeal metabolism is still far from being understood.
Within the e:Bio - Innovationswettbewerb Systembiologie (Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)), the SulfoSYSBIOTECH consortium (10 partners), aim to unravel the complexity and regulation of the carbon metabolic network of the thermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus (optimal growth at 80° C and pH 3) in order to provide new catalysts 'extremozymes' for utilization in White Biotechnology.
Website: SulfoSYS BIOTEC