Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

ABBt - Molecular Biotechnology | RWTH Aachen


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Commandeur

Dr. Christina Dickmeis

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Research topics and profile (related to bioeconomy)

In cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME), the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology is involved in the development of plants that are genetically optimized for the production of enzymes and industrially utilizable raw materials, as well as in the exploration of transient expression systems for protein production. In the field of synthetic plant virology, viruses are developed as expression vectors and virus particles as biomaterials and surfaces for diverse applications. In addition, economically interesting secondary metabolites from plants are identified and different strategies for the overproduction of these metabolites are tested. Thus, direct metabolic engineering in plants is possible, but the transfer of synthetic pathways into microorganisms is also being worked out. For this purpose, suitable enzyme candidates are isolated from the plants and transferred into suitable expression organisms.


Contributions to BioSC

As part of the Cluster of Excellence "Tailor-made Fuels from Biomass", the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology investigated new biocatalytic systems for the use of biomass as an energy and raw material source.

  • Screening of natural biodiversity (insects, endosymbionts, marine organisms, microorganisms) to identify new or improved enzymes with potential for use in industrial biotechnology
  • Mutagenesis (increasing stability and tolerance under process conditions) and characterization of enzymes to establish new processes for the recovery of biomass energy sources
  • Establishment of new enzymatic systems e.g. tailored metabolones
  • Multipurpose expression systems (microbes, animal and plant cell cultures) to provide recombinant proteins on a pilot scale
  • Establishment of a synthetic pathway for the production of lignans in recombinant bacteria
  • Development of a biotechnological platform through targeted metabolic engineering in industrially relevant microbial strains