Institute for Molecular Bio Science

Research

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Research

There are currently eleven working groups at the Institute; they investigate a wide variety of molecular aspects of life. This research primarily focuses on microorganisms and plants. Membrane Biology is traditionally one of the strongest areas at the Institute. In this context, the focal point is the analysis of the structure and function of membrane-bound proteins, as well as their regulation and participation in intracellular signalling cascades. In the field of Biotechnology, work is being conducted on the development of microbial cell factories using both classical and recombinant methods to bring about overproduction of a range of enzymes and chemicals. Another new aspect of this field is the identification, characterisation and application of new metabolites from the secondary metabolism of entomopathogenic microbes. Metabolic pathways are selectively altered, e.g. to produce biofuels or to develop therapeutic methods of improving cellular defence.

In Microbial Physiology the emphasis is on metabolic physiology, specifically on its regulation and genetic basis in the Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryota. The results of this study form the basis of analysis by membrane biologists and biotechnologists, leading to close networking both within the faculty and beyond. Research topics in Molecular Plant Physiology are the energy metabolism of photosynthetic organisms and its underlying organelle interactions. Physiological, structural, biochemical and genetic investigation all play an important part in this research.

Degenerative Processes and Molecular Stress focuses on the investigation of molecular aging mechanisms, especially the role of mitochondria in the aging process, as well as the analysis of cellular responses to heat and light stress. The groups working on Protective Functions of Carotenoids are investigating the molecular mechanism of carotenoid function in strong light conditions, as well as in protection from reactive oxygen species and membrane damage caused by external factors. In the field of Regulatory RNAs, the research focuses on structural and functional analysis of regulatory non-coding RNAs and their interactions with proteins, as well as their biological functions and cellular regulation.

Research Objects

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Research Objects

Department     Title   First Name     Surname

Biology and Biotechnology of Fungi

   

Prof.

 

Richard

   

Splivallo

Biology and Genetics of Procaryotes

   

Prof.

 

Jörg

   

Soppa

Biosynthesis in Plants und Microorganism

   

Prof.

 

Gerhard

   

Sandmann

Merck-Stiftungsprofessur Molecular Biotechnology

   

Prof.

 

Helge

   

Bode

Molecular Developmental Biology

   

Prof.

 

Heinz Dieter

   

Osiewacz

Molecular Genetics and Cellular Microbiology

   

Prof.

 

Karl-Dieter

   

Entian

Molecular Microbiology and Bioenergetics

   

Prof.

 

Volker 

   

Müller

Molecular Microbiology and Bioenergetics

   

Prof.

 

Beate

   

Averhoff

Molecular Cell Biology of Plants

   

Prof.

 

Enrico

   

Schleiff

mRNA-based gene regulation

   

Dr.

 

Andreas

   

Schlundt

Plant Cell Physiology

   

Prof.

 

Claudia

   

Büchel

Physiology and Genetics of Lower Eukaryotes

   

Prof.

 

Eckhard

   

Boles

RNA Structural Biology

   

Prof.

 

Jens

   

Wöhnert

Heads of the Departments

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Heads of the Departments

Title   First Name   Surname   Department  
               

Prof.

 

Beate

 

Averhoff

 

Molecular Microbiology and Bioenergetics

 

Prof.

 

Helge

 

Bode

 

Merck-Stiftungsprofessur Molecular Biotechnology

 

Prof.

 

Eckhard

 

Boles

 

Physiology and Genetics of Lower Eukaryotes

 

Prof.

 

Claudia

 

Büchel

 

Plant Cell Physiology

 

Prof.

 

Karl-Dieter

 

Entian

 

Molecular Genetics and Cellular Microbiologye

 

Prof.

 

Volker 

 

Müller

 

Molecular Microbiology and Bioenergetics

 

Prof.

 

Heinz Dieter

 

Osiewacz

 

Molecular Developmental Biology

 

Prof.

 

Gerhard

 

Sandmann

 

Biosynthesis in Plants und Microorganism

 

Prof.

 

Enrico

 

Schleiff

 

Molecular Cell Biology of Plants

 

Dr.

 

Andreas

 

Schlundt

 

mRNA-based gene regulation

 

Prof.

 

Jörg

 

Soppa

 

Biology and Genetics of Procaryotes

 

Prof.

 

Richard

 

Splivallo

 

Biology and Biotechnology of Fungi

 

Prof.

 

Jens

 

Wöhnert

 

RNA Structural Biology

 

Teaching

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Teaching

The Institute is involved the Bachelor's Programmes in Biological Sciences, Biophysics and Bioinformatics as well as in Teacher Education in Biological Sciences and in the biological training of medical science students. In addition, it offers two master's programmes, Molecular Biological Sciences and Molecular Biotechnology, as well as participating in interdisciplinary master's programmes.

Kolloquium

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Kolloquium

Wintersemester 2018/2019

  • Die Vorträge finden jeweils um 17:15 Uhr statt.
    The talks starts at 17:15
  • Ort: Biozentrum auf dem Campus Riedberg, Raum 260/3.13
    Where:  Campus Rieberg, Biocenter, Section of the Building 260 Room 3.13
Tuesday 16.10.2018  

Dr. Jose M Jimenez-Gomez
Institut Jean Pierre Bourgain INRA-Versailles, Frankreich

Domestication delayed circadian rhythms in tomato


Tuesday 23.10.2018  

Dr. Andreas Schlundt
Institut Molekulare Biowissenschaften, Goethe Universität

Towards atom-resolved RNA-protein landscapes that egotiate mRNA fate

Nature has developed multiple levels to adequately regulate gene expression in time and space, which is particularly important during stages of development and e.g. during immune response. Consequently, misbalanced expression of genes is a major cause for disease. One of the regulatory stages is to be found after DNA transcription, i.e. the so-called post-transcriptional level. In one aspect, post-transcriptional regulation drives mRNA turnover, and subsequently regulates the levels of gene products, through the interplay of mRNA decay and stabilization. mRNA untranslated regions contain cis-regulatory elements that are recognized by trans-acting RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) which account for most of the downstream events for mRNA fate. Dissecting these cis-trans landscapes and deriving general concepts is a major challenge in order to understand post-transcriptional regulation and eventually the mechanisms of prominent autoimmunological phenomena or certain types of cancer. Over more than two decades, a growing number of atomic pictures from individual cis-trans pairs have yielded great advancements in the prediction of novel mRNA targets for regulatory RBPs. However, evidence arises that much more complex cis trans networks, if not entire ‘regulatory hubs’, are involved in the fine-tuned exposition of mRNAs to degrading or stabilizing proteins, and we therefor need to capture the full picture of interactions and address the interplay of multiple cis and trans factors for an mRNA’s fate. An essential role herein needs to be ascribed to the RNA cis elements themselves, as they appear to experience significant intrinsic dynamics influencing their availability to RBPs based on the flexible nature of RNA. Atom-resolved structures of RNA-protein complexes are reliable storytellers about possible mechanisms of mRNA regulation and the molecular bases for defects. To this end, we are following an integrated structural biology approach in close collaboration with groups translating atomic information into a functional context in cells. In my talk, I will give an insight into previously successful, ongoing and future studies on mRNA-degrading and -protecting proteins in their biologically relevant contexts, the challenges they entail with regard to our work, and the integrative approaches we use to tackle them.


Tuesday 06.11.2018  

Dr. Xavier Charpentier, International Center for Research on Infectious Diseases Villeurbanne, France

Natural transformation and acquisition of antibiotic resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a major actor of genome evolution in bacteria. Emergence of pathogens as well as their adaptation and resistance to therapeutic and prophylactic interventions are often connected to HGT events. This is well established in the opportunistic pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii which is responsible for an increasing number of hospital-acquired pneumonia, urinary tract infections, meningitis and bacteremia. Genome sequencing of antibiotic resistant isolates revealed that multiple events of HGT are associated with acquired multi-drug resistance. Thus, intra- and inter-specific HGT events are likely responsible for the worrisome emergence of this pathogen. Yet, the specific contributions of these HGT events to resistance is often not documented and the dominant mechanism by which they arise are largely unknown. Using a cytometry-based assay on a panel of clinical isolates, we found that natural competence for genetic transformation is a conserved trait in A. baumannii. Natural genetic transformation is an evolutionary conserved phenomenon, resulting from the uptake and chromosomal integration of exogenous DNA fragments. We provide experimental evidence that natural transformation allows the transfer of genomic islands from various sizes (up to 90kb) conferring resistance to multiple antibiotics, including to carbapenems. Interestingly, acquisition or specific resistance islands impairs natural transformability, limiting further acquisitions. This genetic conflict between genomic islands and natural transformation may impact genome evolution and the spread of antibiotic resistance the Acinetobacter genus.


Tuesday 20.11.2018  

Dr. Mirko Basen
Institut Molekulare Biowissenschaften, Goethe Universität


Tuesday 29.01.2019   Dr. Daniel Kögler
     
     
Di 05.02.2019  

Prof. Dr. Andres Jäschke
Universität Heidelberg

Chemical Biology of RNA - New epitranscriptomic modifications and novel imaging approaches


     

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