A key carbohydrate is cellulose, an unbranched homopolysaccharide consisting of β-1,4-linked glucose molecules. Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer on earth primarily produced by plants. Interestingly, cellulose is also a component of the cell wall of certain cyanobacteria.
The major topics currently under investigation in our laboratory are
Synechococcus elongatus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae Co-Cultivation
This project is concerned with the communitarisation of cyanobacteria with fungi. For this purpose, the model organisms S.elongatus (cyanobacterium) and S.cerevisiae as representatives of the fungi are co-cultivated in a Photobioreactor Multi-cultivator OD100 or Photo-bioreactor FMT 150.
Underlying oscillators have been described in many eukaryotes and cyanobacteria and exert global influence on gene expression and metabolism, we consider a comprehensive understanding of the timing mechanism with a special focus on cyanobacteria to be important for manifold aspects of basic research as well as synthetic applications.
Express yourself! Revealing DNA-dependent RNA-Polymerase (RNAP) holoenzyme functions
Sigma factors (σ factors) are essential for the promoter DNA-binding specificity of RNA polymerase. Different σ factors are involved in driving the transcription of different subsets of genes and are themselves expressed by different environmental or stress inputs.
CoilHack: Unraveling Global Gene Regulation on the DNA Level
DNA-supercoiling is a global regulatory mechanism in bacteria. This mechanism directly relates to the energy status of the cell. While the chromosome of actively growing cells is negatively supercoiled, stationary cells contain more relaxed DNA.
Synthetic Gene Regulatory Systems in Cyanobacteria
While cyanobacteria are becoming increasingly attractive for various research applications, robust transcriptional and translational regulatory systems are still limited. While many systems are available for established model organisms such as E. coli, these often fail to translate directly to nonconventional model organisms.
Synthetic Triterpene Biosynthesis
The development of cyanobacteria as host organisms for biotechnological applications has attracted increasing interest in recent years. Several production systems for compounds with low structural complexity such as alcohols, sugars and fatty acids have been established in cyanobacteria model strains. In our working group we conduct research on cyanobacterial host systems to produce high value components like terpenoids.
We use the following tools for our laboratory work:
- modern molecular cloning methods (BioBrick assembly, Gibson & Aqua Cloning)
- report-gene activity measurements
- RNA analysis (purification, hybridization, qPCR, in-line probing)
- RNA interaction with RNA, proteins, ligands
- recombinant protein expression in E. coli and cyanobacteria
- protein purification and characterization (interaction studies, activity assays)
- metabolic engineering of cyanobacteria
- phenotypic analysis of cyanobacterial mutants
We use the following tools for our computational work:
- In silico cloning with SnapGene
- Data analyses with Python 3 and Jupyter Notebook/Lab
- Data analyses with R and RStudio
- Comparative genomic analysis
- Flux Balance Analysis with COBRApy