Research Group: Molecular Biotechnology
Head: Privatdoz. Mag.rer.nat. Dr. Bernhard Seiboth
Our group focuses on basic and applied aspects of fungal biotechnology. Fungi are used in industry as production hosts for a wide range of proteins, enzymes and different metabolites and particulalry Trichoderma species are used for large-scale enzyme production including cellulases and xylanases and as biocontrol agents in agriculture. The mission of this group is to use modern biological tools to understand the life style and physiology of these fungi to be able to rationally engineer their behavior towards human benefit. We employ modern molecular biological tools and methods such as systems biology, synthetic cell design and metabolic engineering to generate improved production hosts for biotechnological applications and processes. Currently, three project groups are integrated in the working group Molecular Biotechnology and focus on different aspects of this topic. Each project group leader has several ongoing research projects funded by public or industrial grants.
The project group investigates the biochemistry and molecular biology of renewable plant biomass degradation by Trichoderma reesei, and develops tools for fungal strain design and engineering with a focus on recombinant protein production. It is active in the area Cell Design and Engineering of the Austrian Center of Industrial Biotechnology, a Competence Center for Excellent Technology (COMET).
The project group of Verena Seidl focuses on the analysis of biochemical pathways for chitin degradation for processes to generate high-value products from natural, chitin-containing waste materials and on the biochemistry of self-assembling protein surfaces for biotechnological applications.
The project group of Susanne Zeilinger (Project group Molecular Biochemistry of Fungi) investigates the role of intracellular signal transduction pathways and secondary metabolites during fungal interactions by using up-to-date molecular biological and biochemical approaches.