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Natural product biosynthesis

Natural products, including bacterial secondary metabolites and biocatalysts, represent a rich resource for valuable bioproducts with diverse applications, e.g. in the medical or industrial sectors. The overall research goal of the tandem group is the exploitation of natural products. In a shared fascination for the bacterium, we focus on the use of Pseudomonas putida as extraordinary host for natural product biosynthesis, and develop the toolkits enabling that. In close collaboration with the group Bacterial Photobiotechnology  of Dr. Thomas Drepper, we engage in joint and complementary projects.

Bioactive bacterial compounds

Anita Loeschcke focuses on the development of expression tools for bacterial gene clusters, currently applied for the heterologous biosynthesis of bioactive prodiginines, terpenes, violaceins, and phenazines. Moreover, she evaluates antibiotic activities of accessed compounds. She coordinates the BioSC FocusLab undefinedCombiCom which pursues the generation of diverse products, both, natural and nature-inspired, by means of synthetic biology and bioorganic chemistry and the subsequent evaluation of their agricultural and medical potential.

Surface active compounds

Stephan Thies focuses on the production of different biosurfactants, which are due to their surface active properties promising for applications in biotechnology and remediation of polluted environments. Moreover, he characterizes hydrolytic biocatalysts, likewise active on persistent pollutions and promising for applied biocatalysis. Besides the application of already known biosynthetic modules, the exploration of novel pathways and enzymes, e.g. from metagenomes, constitutes another aspect of his research activities.