Microbial ecology and physiology

Microorganisms occupy almost every niche available on this planet. The researchers at DTU Bioengineering applies basic insight into their natural habitats and physiological, metabolic and functional diversity to combat pathogenic bacteria and fungi and their mycotoxin production.

Organisms with desirable properties such as probiotic activity, production of bioactive secondary metabolites, pigments or enzymes are isolated and exploited through identification of their biosynthetic genes.

Microbial diversity, evolution and community dynamics are studied by classical microbiological, genetic and biochemical approaches, together with advanced molecular profiling, e.g. genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, as well as functional and structural characterization of key molecules.We use these insights to link bio- and chemo-diversity to different biological properties of the microbial systems, whether in the human body or in an environmental milieu. Focus is on the behavior of single cells and communities in niches such as water, soil, industrial waste biomass, food and feed or the human body, whereby the molecular mechanisms for adaptation and interactions between bacteria and host cells are investigated. Subsequently this insight is utilized in biomedicine and industrial biotechnology.