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

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 ...

Type IV effector complexes: components of the last elusive CRISPR-Cas type

November 07, 2018

Bacteria utilize CRISPR-Cas systems to defend themselves against viral attacks. Six major CRISPR-Cas Types have been classified based on the presence of signature proteins.  Five of these six types are characterized well. Scientists of the Max Planck ...

World’s smallest chemical reactor – Built from a single protein inside bacteria

November 01, 2018

In a living cell, hundreds to thousands different chemical reactions take place in parallel. However, many chemical reactions produce reactive or toxic compounds that could harm or even kill a cell. How do organisms protect themselves against such ...

Marburger iGEM team wins competition in Boston

October 31, 2018

Students of Philipps-Universität Marburg and the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology won the international competition in the field of Synthetic Biology

Events

Prof. Cynthia Whitchurch

Understanding and exploiting bacterial lifestyles
Feb 25, 2019 13:15
MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Room: Lecture hall

Prof. Dr. Roberto Contestabile

The MocR-like transcription factors: pyridoxal 5’-phosphate-dependent regulators of bacterial metabolism
Apr 1, 2019 13:15
MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Room: Seminar Room III

Prof. Dr. Kathrin Wippel

Symbiotic performance of Sinorhizobium meliloti lacking ppGpp depends on the Medicago host species
Apr 15, 2019 13:15
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

Prof. Dr. Nancy Moran

The evolution and functions of gut microbiota in bees
May 20, 2019 14:15
MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Room: Lecture hall

Graduate Students Mini-Symposium II/2019

Jul 1, 2019 13:15
MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Room: Lecture hall

Prof. Dr. Sven Krappmann

Protecting the offspring – Linking developmental pathways of Aspergillus fumigatus to toxic compounds
Jul 15, 2019 13:15
MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology, Room: Lecture hall
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