Project Area C
Directed Modulation of Complex Biosystems
Whereas the projects in areas A and B explore new community relevant metabolites and regulatory principles, this project area will take these concepts and specifically examine complex communities by using natural products and derivatives as modulators. Multi-organism communities with varying degrees of complexity will be manipulated using natural products or their synthetic analogues and their response will be characterized on different levels. This includes field ecology, work in mesocosms or targeted manipulations of communities in environmental samples.
Focus of project area C will be the effect of mediators on communities.
Natural products or other chemical compounds with a documented or highly likely potential as mediators of interaction will be used as starting points. Furthermore, the modulating role of metal ions or their depletion due to complexation with natural products will be explored. Non-contact co-culturing allows the effects of direct cell-cell interactions to be separated from the true function of secreted metabolites. This method will be used to study how complex plankton communities respond to chemical signals produced by introducing additional partners.
Field experiments that allow the observation of microbes and plants in their natural environment will directly facilitate the observation of the response of (natural) communities to chemical signals. Synthesis of multimodal peptides will provide a link between metabolic diversity and functional diversity of natural products within stressed and non-stressed bacterial communities. Metallophores will be investigated as mediators for metal cycling to understand how communities can be shaped by metal chelating reagents.