Molecular biology of bacteria

Vision, mission and Major Topics

The Molecular Genetics group focuses on the molecular biology, physiology, genetics, cell biology and functional genomics of bacteria of fundamental, industrial and health interest.

The vision is to fully understand the molecular mechanisms underlying life and adaptation of our model bacteria to changing environments. Furthermore, we are interested in different aspects of RNA folding, RNA structure and biological function (with respect to RNA research, please see the website: INCARNATO lab).

Our mission is to perform top science using advanced genetics, genomics and single cell analytical tools to address fundamental and applied research questions.

Major Topics:

  • Lactococcus lactis is investigated as model system for various biotechnological applications among which engineering of ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs), and for basic research on gene regulation.
  • The human pathogen Streptococcus pneumonia is studied with respect to pathogenesis and virulence.
  • Bacillus subtilis is studied as a potential cell factory for production of enzymes and nonribosomal peptides (NRPs) as well as for gaining basic insights in differentiation processes, like sporulation and competence development. Bacilli from soil are studied for plant biocontrol purposes and antimicrobial properties.
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa, is studied aiming at the elucidation of the mode of action and preclinical development of a new treatment.
  • RNA structure and function are being studied.

We will continue successful research lines employing functional genomics supported by own bioinformatics expertise. Synthetic biology approaches are taken for the development of novel RiPPs and novel antimicrobial molecules, while also natural antimicrobials are being studied for food and environmental application. Pharmaceutical characterization and development of promising novel antibiotics is undertaken and expanded via appropriate collaborations. Fundamental insights are being exploited for biotechnological as well as for medical applications.


Molecular Genetics is heavily involved in teaching activities, both Bachelor and Masters:
  • Genetics I
  • Genomics and Proteomics
  • Medical Genomics and Proteomics
  • Microbiology Research
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Advanced Transcriptomics
  • Advanced Genetic Engineering
  • Biotechnology Food and Pharma
  • Bioinformatics
  • Introduction to Biomedical sciences