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Projects and cooperations

Genome sequencing

of Bacteria and Archaea: DSMZ laboratories are contributing to a systematic coverage of the prokaryotic diversity, aiming at filling the gaps in evolutionary trees. Biomasses and DNA of phylogenetically and physiologically outstanding type strains are generated and allocated for sequencing purposes.


Phylogenetic reconstructions on the genome scale promise a better resolution and more reliable phylogenies than one-gene analyses. We are establishing the bioinformatics infrastructures necessary to exploit genome and physiological data.    


    as specific viruses for Bacteria and Archaea are the most abundant entities in the biosphere. Being present in all kinds of habitats, phages show a very high diversity in morphology and genomic structures. Isolating and characterizing new phages shall give further insight into their role for evolutionary processes and ecology. Furthermore phages are promising candidates to fight bacterial infections in the future.

    Renewable plant and algae derived resources

    There is a general economically based desire to change from the dependence on fossil fuels such as oil and gas (nonrenewable carbon sources) to renewable biomass resources, leading to a greater contribution of plant  polysaccharides (cellulose and hemicellulose) and lignin as feedstocks for bio-derived materials and fuels (“zero waste”).

    European Space Agency Collection

    The ESA Microbial Strain Collection was established during the "BioDiv" project and represents the bioburden of spacecraft assembly clean-rooms. The microbial diversity of that ecological niche is studied taxonomically, preserved and documented.

    Halophilic communities

    Marine environments such as oceans are covering 71 % of our earth. Therefore it is of vital interest to understand the biology of organisms inhabiting such habitats. At the DSMZ, the composition, phylogeny and function of communities living in saline environments is investigated in two projects:

    MaCuMBA Collection

    The collaborative project MaCuMBA (Marine microorganisms: Cultivation Methods for improving their Biotechnological Applications) is funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 /2007-2013). Major aims of MaCuMBA are to improve the cultivation and isolation techniques for previously uncultured types of marine microorganisms and to screen them for their biotechnological potential. Microbial strains recovered from marine samples are characterized with respect to their taxonomy, physiology and genome sequence, and are deposited in the central MaCuMBA collection at the Leibniz-Institute DSMZ for future use.