Fundamentals and Applications of Chemical Mediators Facilitating Multilateral Interactions in Cyanobacteria
Facultative symbiotic cyanobacteria of the genus Nostoc are prolific producers of a plethora of bioactive compounds and show versatile chemical interactions with plant hosts and other microorganisms. While cyanobacteria are well recognized as promising sustainable production systems, current approaches are restricted to unicellular cyanobacterial monocultures. However, these cultures are inherently fragile and are limited for producing specialized metabolites. Using more complex filamentous cyanobacteria and co-inhabiting microbes can increase robustness and metabolic capacity.
With the help of our collaboration partners in this CRC, we aim to dissect and exploit the role of chemical mediators in these interactions of Nostoc and its partners. Specifically, we plan the identification of chemical mediators controlling the specificity of interactions between cyanobacteria and their heterotrophic microbiome and to apply the knowledge gained on the regulation of specialized metabolism and the role of growth-promoting heterotrophic bacteria to the design a metabolically versatile cyanobacterial chassis for heterologous product formation.
Our joint approach will provide a deeper understanding of cyanobacterial secondary metabolism, and how it is modulated by interactions with heterotrophic partners. The project will also deliver insight into cyanobacterial ecophysiology and provide strategies to increase robustness and productivity in cyanobacterial production systems.
Prof. Dr. Elke Dittmann-Thünemann
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Julie Zedler
Institute of Biochemistry and Biology
Department of Microbiology
University of Potsdam
Synthetic Biology of Photosynthetic Organisms
Matthias Schleiden Institute
Friedrich Schiller University Jena