GRK

DFG Research Training Group GRK 1257/1 "Alteration and Element Mobility at Microbe-Mineral Interfaces"

The Research Training Group (www.gk-alteration.uni-jena.de) brings together cross-faculty research on communication between microorganisms and the environment, i.e. the interactions of microorganisms with mineral surfaces and the subsequent processes that develop from specific environmental conditions. Microbes perceive environmental signals and react by changing their physiology and development. The environment reacts to microbial chemical compounds altering pH, Eh and chemical properties so as to allow transformation of metal-containing minerals. These complex interactions have led to new interest in the importance of microbes in geological processes including the formation of redox barriers with high metal contents. Metals cannot be degraded, but transformations through sorption or complexing with mineral surfaces, and/or changes in the valence state affect not only the mobility but also the bioavailability of these compounds. Microorganisms can alter the reactivity and mobility of metal-containing minerals both directly and indirectly. The aim of the Research Training Group is to achieve a fundamental, mechanistic understanding of the coupling between microbial metabolism, chemical and physical reactions at mineral surfaces, and reactive metal transport. The interactions of microorganisms with their environment are structured by communication processes involving secondary microbial metabolites in the formation of microbial consortia at the mineral surface.

JSMC Students at the GRK