The Section for Microbial Ecology and Biotechnology conducts research in the areas of microbial ecology, environmental microbiology and microbial biotechnology. The Section hosts four research groups:
The research group in Environmental Microbiology aims to elucidate, understand, and exploit basic interactions between microorganisms and their environment. The group emphasizes microbe-pollutant interactions in terrestrial and aquatic environments from the cellular to the ecosystem level. This research is relevant for protecting and promoting microbial ecosystem services for the benefit of environmental and human health. The group emphasizes microbial transformation of toxic metals or organic pollutants and the impacts of pollutants on microorganisms from the cellular to the ecosystem level. This research is relevant for protecting and promoting microbial ecosystem services for the benefit of environmental and human health.
The research group in Microbial Biotechnology focuses on microbial bioprospecting in extreme environments, for example hot springs and alkaline environments of the Arctic and Antarctic. The group studies microbial diversity in these extreme environments and develops intelligent, directed screening procedures to discover novel microbial species, enzymes, and secondary metabolites with application potentials in biotechnology and in food production.
The research group in Microbial Interactions investigates plant-associated microbial communities that represent an important resource for plant growth promoting microorganisms. The research covers the environmental factors affecting colonization and persistence of these microorganisms as well as the molecular mechanisms behind microbe-microbe communication. The research paves the way for novel microbial solutions for biocontrol, biostimulation and biofertilization.
The research group in Plant Pathology and Microbiology gathers expertise from plant pathology, plant molecular biology and mycology. Our primary focus concerns interactions between fungi and plants which are seen as various fungal lifestyles that affect plant development. We are especially interested in endophytic microorganisms that can benefit plant performance. Applications of the knowledge gained include biological control of plant disease by microorganisms, improved abiotic stress tolerance and input to the development of transgenic disease resistance for agriculture and horticultural systems.