Our mission

Our mission

The mission of the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology (MPIterMic) is to obtain an integrated understanding of how microorganisms function at the molecular, cellular, and community levels. Microorganisms are the oldest and by far the most abundant and diverse inhabitants of the Earth. Their evolutionary success is based largely on three characteristics: their immense metabolic capacities, which surpass those of all other life forms, an ability to adapt to environmental changes, and their multitude of interactions with other organisms. The strategies they have developed enable them to proliferate in practically every ecological niche. By doing so, microorganisms play pivotal role in processes of fundamental importance including biomass conversion, biogeochemical cycles and photosynthesis, and they have major impacts on plant and animal physiology.

The overall goal of our research is to understand how microorganisms accomplish these tasks. To this end, groups at the MPIterMic cover research in microbiology at all scales from protein structure determination, physiology, metabolism, molecular & cellular microbiology to host-microbe interactions and microbial communities, applying a number of cutting-edge technologies combined with computational modeling and synthetic biology approaches.

News

Discovery of [Fe]-hydrogenase in bacteria opens new possibilities for conversion of hydrogen

April 15, 2019

Hydrogen gas is a green energy carrier. Microorganisms use dedicated enzymes, called hydrogenases to convert this gas into energy. One of the model enzymes is [Fe]-hydrogenase (Hmd) that catalyzes the reversible hydride transfer between H2 and the ...

A new way out!

April 01, 2019

Protein secretion is used by all cells to deliver proteins to different cellular compartments. In bacteria, proteins secreted to the extracellular milieu play key roles in a multitude of important processes including virulence, biofilm formation ...

2019 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize goes to Knut Drescher

February 28, 2019

Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology receives Germany's most significant award for young scientists, the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, which is jointly awarded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the ...

Plant fights back: a kiwellin disarms the metabolic activity of a fungal effector

January 18, 2019

Plants are under constant attack by pathogens. To protect themselves, plants produce an array of defense proteins. Kiwellins are a family of secreted plant proteins that are common in many plant species. However, their biological functions remain ...

Corn smut has undergone a specialized evolution for virulence

December 04, 2018

Smut fungi are pathogens that parasitize mainly grass plants including economically important cereals like maize. Most smut pathogens cause disease symptoms only in the flowers of their host plants. An exception is Ustilago maydis, a fungus inducing ...

Protection of [Fe]-hydrogenase

November 26, 2018

Hydrogenase enzymes catalyze production and utilization of hydrogen gas, which is considered as a future energy carrier. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg and a collaborator at the Max Planck Institute for ...

Events

IMPRS Selection Symposium

Apr 24, 2019 09:00 - Apr 26, 2019 12:00
MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Room: Lecture hall

Prof. Dr. Wolf-Dietrich Hardt

Salmonella diarrhea: mucus barriers, hydrogen-fueled growth and DNA transfer in the gut
Apr 29, 2019 13:15
MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Room: Lecture hall

Prof. Anthony J. Wilkinson

Sensing and Switching in Bacterial Sporulation
May 2, 2019 14:00
MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Room: Lecture hall

Dr. Martin Loose

Self-organization of the bacterial cell division machinery
May 6, 2019 13:15
MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Room: Lecture hall

Hassan Salem, Ph. D.

Microbial mediation of folivory
May 6, 2019 14:30
MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Room: Lecture hall

Mr. Amir Pandi

Synthetic Gene-Metabolic Circuits for Bioproduction, Biosensing and Biocomputation
May 13, 2019 15:00
MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Room: Lecture hall

Prof. Dr. Howard Ochman

Defining species in the microbial world
May 20, 2019 13:15
MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Room: Lecture hall
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