We focus on Armarillaria, Aspergillus and other fungi producing natural compounds

The associated Research Group of Pharmaceutical Microbiology with its natural product-oriented research program links the Institute of Pharmacy at the Friedrich Schiller University with the Hans Knöll Institute and focuses on the genetic and biochemical basis of microbial secondary metabolite biosynthesis and on the discovery of novel, bioactive substances.

Currently, research on the basidiomycetes („mushroom-type fungi“) is emphasized. They are being investigated using selected model species and genera, including Armillaria, Suillus and Serpula. The basidiomycetes represent a group of organisms that has received little attention yet regarding its biosynthetic pathways. Hence, they also represent a largely untapped reservoir of enzymes that is potentially valuable for chemoenzymatic syntheses or drug modification. Work in the Department also aims at integrating chemistry and biology to use genomic data to predict natural product classes in silico.

Further projects include natural product biosyntheses in the Gram-negative bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum and in Aspergilli.