Off the beaten track: “In our lab we are taking Bacterial Genetics research off the beaten track, in search for new fundamental insights and occasionally new applications; I feel privileged to participate in this exciting journey of surprise and discovery.”
Since 1995, the focus of the BacGen group has been on unravelling relevant features of the central metabolism of thermophilic bacteria and archaea: key enzymes, pathways and their regulation. In addition, in-depth structural and functional relationships have been analysed in selected enzymes. In 2005, a new research line began studying prokaryotic host-virus interactions, aimed at unravelling the molecular basis of the CRISPR-Cas and Argonaute in bacteria and archaea. Moreover, general tools are being developed for genome editing, and optimisation of protein expression is being studied through tuning of transcription initiation and translation (systematic variation of ribosome binding site, secondary structure and codon bias). In collaboration with other MIB research groups, recently initiated research lines focus on synthetic biology of metabolic pathways and (eventually) entire cells. In addition, a research line focusses on the molecular characterization of selected intestinal microorganisms.