Doctoral Researchers

 
Institute/Dep.
Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans-Knöll-Institute-
Dept. Biomolecular Chemistry
PhD Project:

Cultivation Strategies for the Characterization of Secondary Metabolite Production in Anaerobic Bacteria

 
 
Tauber, James

publications »

ChemBioSys Student

Email »

Institute/Dep.
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Institute of Pharmacy
Chair of Pharmaceutical Biology II
PhD Project:

Role and regulation of secondary metabolites by basidiomycetes during inter-organismal interactions

 
 
Teh, Beng Soon

cv + contact data »

publications »

JSMC Fellow

Email »

Institute/Dep.
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
Dept. of Bioorganic Chemistry
PhD Project:

Insect gut microbiota: community structure and control

PDF »

Abstract: The gut of insects harbors a wide range of microorganisms. The bacteria in the gut directly affect the physiology, development and growth of the insect host. Intestinal gut microbes...
more
... play essential role in food digestion, synthesizing vitamins for the host and protection against harmful microbes. The work on the gut of the genus Spodoptera has been extensively studied in our laboratory in recent years. An indigenous biota is present in the gut of all insect species with a role of maintaining stable communities. One of the core bacteria living in the gut of insects is the Enterococcus sp. In our previous studies, E. casseliflavus was detected to be the most abundantly distributed apart from Clostridia and Lactobacilli. It is unknown if strains of these species residing specific niches in the gut and the reasons of colonizing those habitats. Several factors such as pH and redox potential might alter the composition of the microbiota. The gut of insects develops an efficient mechanism to digest their diets leading to different pH and redox potential as part of the adaptation strategies. The different pH gradient within the gut environment of many insects dramatically changes the diversity of gut microbiota. The first aim of this project is to selectively use a dominant single bacterial species, E. casseliflavus as model organism to study its gene expression in response to pH variations in the gut of Spodoptera at different life cycles (larvae, pupae and adults). In order to achieve this objective, single bacterial cells will be tagged with fluorescent gene as a marker to monitor survival of the bacteria along the gut of the insect. In addition, it has been reported that E. casseliflavus live in close proximity with the red crop (crystallization of beta-carotene) in the foregut of Spodoptera larvae upon feeding on toxic plant. We feel that the presence of carotene crystal and the bacteria together might form an unknown mechanism in the adaptation of the insects to toxic food plants. In the second aim of the project, we are particularly interested to uncover the carotenoid uptake mechanism leading to the crystal formation in the foregut of the insect. The gene expression of carotenoid-binding protein will be closely studied.
 
 
Thürich, Johannes

cv + contact data »

publications »

ChemBioSys Student

Email »

Institute/Dep.
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Institute of General Botany and Plant Physiology
Dept. of Plant Physiology
PhD Project:

Isolation and Characterization of Novel Biomolecules from Fungi Establishing Mutualistic or Pathogenic Interactions with Roots of Arabidopsis and Nicotiana Species

PDF »

Abstract: The goal of my project is to study the interaction of Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana attenuata with root-colonizing fungi. These fungi, i.e. Piriformospora indica, Mortierella...
more
... hyalina, Alternaria brassicae and Verticillium dahliae, exudate compounds which induce rapid cytosolic calcium elevation in roots. (Fig 1.) The Ca2+ signal is important for the downstream responses of plants such as gene activation or release of antifungal compounds. I will identify and characterize these unknown biomolecules and the in planta counterparts. Calcium measurement, next generation sequencing, mass spectrometry, gene expression studies and bio assays will help me to get new insights into the plant-microbial signaling.
 
 
Timme, Sandra

cv + contact data »

publications »

FungiNet Student

Email »

Institute/Dep.
Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans-Knöll-Institute-
Research Group Applied Systems Biology
PhD Project:

Agent-based modeling of the spatio-temporal interaction between immune cells and human-pathogenic fungi

 
 
Töpfer, Natalie

cv + contact data »

publications »

JSMC Fellow

Email »

Institute/Dep.
Center of Sepsis Control and Care (CSCC)
PhD Project:

Characterization of pathogen-leukocyte interaction by means of Raman spectroscopy

PDF »

Abstract: Worldwide a third of all sepsis patients die from their condition. This systemic reaction can occur after infection with pathogens for example after surgery. In this uncontrolled...
more
... hyper-inflammatory response leukocytes play an important role. Especially neutrophils, which are the most abundant representative of the immune system, are able to engulf pathogens and oppose them via phagocytosis. The pathogen is trapped intracellularly where it can be digested by granular enzymes and antimicrobial peptides. In a few cases, neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are produced to bind the pathogens with fibers composed of DNA and globular proteins. Macrophages and their progenitor cells, monocytes, are also able to phagocytize microbes and - like neutrophils - are important producers of inflammatory cytokines.
In the course of this project the infection mechanisms of the opportunistic pathogenic fungi Candida albicans an Aspergillus fumigatus will be investigated. Both pathogens are known to have polymorph phenotypes and cause localized, but also systemic infections. Systemic candidiasis and invasive aspergillosis are prominent in immunocompromised patients, like patients undergoing organ or stem cell transplantation, chemotherapy or AIDS. Raman spectroscopy will be used to study the interaction between neutrophils / monocytes and C. albicans/A. fumigatus. Leukocytes and pathogens will be visualized with false color Raman images before and after infection. The molecular information of the Raman spectra will be extracted
and compared to biochemical information gained through biological methods. Furthermore, this project could give insight into the characteristic differences between the pathogens that are to be phagocytized and which are not.
 
 
Tovar, Miguel

cv + contact data »

publications »

JSMC Fellow

Email »

Institute/Dep.
Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans-Knöll-Institute-
Bio Pilot Plant
PhD Project:

Exploiting the metagenomic and biosynthetic diversity of microbial communities on a droplet-based microfluidic platform for the screening of novel natural products