The Professorship of Systems Biotechnology investigates both theoretical and experimental aspects of biotechnological processes. To this aid, methods and techniques of systems biology are specifically applied for analysis- and optimization tasks in a biotechnological context. These methods can be applied regardless of the chosen host organism.
Mathematical models describing cellular process are the foundation for optimization of the organism/process. In these models, not only different aspects of metabolism should be considered, but also the signal transduction, which plays an important role when organism are subject to changing environmental/fermentation conditions. In order to study the behaviour of cells under production conditions, the cellular models should eventually be coupled with reactor models. Experimental techniques are applied to describe bacterial physiology and to validate the mathematical models.
The goal of systems biotechnology is to optimize the entire biotechnological process. As a consequence, a range of optimization tasks arise, that concern process operation as well as the biological system. To acquire high-performance systems the metabolism and signal transduction of the organism need to be altered. This is where the field of synthetic biology comes into play, where tailored modules with specific functionalities are constructed. As an example, specific metabolic pathways can be removed or redirected.
Current research projects:
- MAMMUT: Optimizing amino acid cost during expression of synthetic pathways for assimilation and bioproduction in Pseudomonas putida
- A systems biotechnology approach for improving substrate uptake during succinic acid production in a two-phase cultivation process
- OctoPus: Experimental quantification and data-based modelling of amino acid synthesis cost in Pseudomonas putida
- CoConut: Cell-cell interaction in a synthetic co-culture, PHA production from sunlight and CO2 in an artifical co-culture between Synechococcus elongatus and Pseudomonas putida
- ProPhet: Analysis of population heterogeneity induced variations in process performance
Former research projects:
- CHEAP: Dissection of the cellular processes during heterologous protein production in Pseudomonas putida - or how much is a protein?
- HOBBIT: Metabolic engineering of Halomonas elongata for the production of ectoine (2017-2020)
- Systematic analysis of heterologous expression in Escherichia coli (2015-2019)
- Development of a Theoretical Workflow for Metabolic Engineering and its Application to Terpenoid Production in Escherichia coli (2015-2018)
- Model-based characterization of intrinsic noise in multistable genetic circuits (2014-2019)
- Production of PHA from CO2 and sunlight in a defined Co-Culture (is continued in the CoConut project)
- Influence of the Phosphotransferase System from Pseudomonas putida on metabolic-physiologic and biotechnological relevant processes(finished)