Microbiology

MICR

  

MICR

Monitoring and engineering gene expression levels in E. coli using fluorescent reporters

MICR

  

MICR

Gene regulatory networks

Research Group of Microbiology (MICR)

We perform research in the field of molecular microbiology, with a twofold mission statement:

  • A better understanding of gene regulatory mechanisms in prokaryotic microorganisms
  • Engineering of genetic and regulatory pathways to obtain microbial strains with biotechnologically useful properties

A fundamental research question that is being addressed is how microorganisms adapt their metabolism and physiology in response to continuously changing environmental conditions (nutritional conditions, temperature- or oxidative stress,...), by means of gene regulatory mechanisms. A major goal is the unravelling of gene regulatory networks by characterization of trans-acting (transcription factors) and cis-acting elements (promoters, transcription factor binding sites). Underlying molecular mechanisms of the interaction between transcription factors and the genome are thoroughly characterized. Fundamental research lays the foundations for applied research, which includes the rational design of microbial physiology for a wide variety of biotechnological applications such as the microbial production of biochemicals (e.g. biofuels) from renewable biomass. We adopt an integrated methodological approach combining genetic, genomic, biochemical and biophysical techniques and collaborate closely with other (inter-)national research groups.

Research in MICR can be divided into three subgroups: