Campus Ring 6 28759 Bremen Germany
Bacteria with habitats inside or outside of a given host react to changes in abiotic parameters by synthesizing gene products specifically needed during pathogenic, mutualistic, or saprophytic growth. Temperature effects on bacterial gene expression has been in our focus. Using genetically accessible model organisms or interaction systems, we aim at dissecting the mechanistic basis for environmental sensing in those bacteria.
We are using a multifaceted approach to study interactions of heterotrophic bacteria with their photosynthetic host organisms at the cellular level. Typical model organisms are Marinobacter adhaerens, Pseudomonas syringae, Marinobacterium mangrovicola, Bacillus subtilis, or Erwinia amylovora. Thereby, we focus on: 1) the role of exopolymer synthesis and bacterial attachment during the interaction; 2) the analysis of regulatory proteins and metabolic pathways important for the interactions; 3) the role of the plant defense elicitor such as the phytotoxin coronatine; 4) the identification and characterization of bioactive plant-borne substances affecting bacterial cells and their multidrug efflux pumps; 5) the analysis of the interaction parameters during nitrogen fixation in mangrove roots; and 6) a comprehensive analysis of bioactive compounds synthesized during the fermentation and processing of cocoa beans.