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.
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.