What we do

Cyanolab is located at the interface of bioinformatics, synthetic biology, experimental RNA biology and microbial systems biology. We participate in the Research Training Group “MeInBio – BioInMe: Exploration of spatio-temporal dynamics of gene regulation using high-throughput and high-resolution methods“, the DFG Priority Program SPP 2002 “Small Proteins in Prokaryotes, an Unexplored World” and the DFG Priority Program SPP 2141 “Much more than Defence: the Multiple Functions and Facets of CRISPR-Cas“.

We have a long-standing interest in cyanobacteria and other photosynthetic organisms and their functions in the environment and their biotechnology. Current research activities are centered around the analysis of transcriptomic and epigenomic datasets to characterize regulatory RNAs and epigenetic modifications (see, for instance, our publications Hagemann et al., 2018; Hess et al., 2014; Klähn et al., 2015; Kopf et al., 2014; Kopf and Hess, 2015; Lott et al., 2015; Mitschke et al., 2011; Pfreundt et al., 2015; Rübsam et al., 2018; Voigt et al., 2014; Walworth et al., 2015).

We study CRISPR systems with the aim to understand their functions in antiviral defense and also beyond defense (see, for instance, the publications Behler et al., 2018a and 2018b; Hein et al., 2013; Kieper et al., 2018; Scholz et al., 2013; Shah et al., 2018).

On the basis of comparative genomic information, computational and experimental tools have been developed and applied to systematically identify novel regulatory RNAs (antisense and non-coding RNAs) in diverse pro- and eukaryotic organisms and to understand their functions (Barshishat et al., 2018; Georg et al., 2009, 2014 and 2017; Georg and Hess, 2018; Lott et al., 2018; Voß et al., 2009; Wright et al., 2013 and 2014).

Particular research has been applied on marine microorganisms and the marine microbiome (Hou et al., 2018; Kopf et al., 2015; Teikari et al., 2018a, 2018b; Voss et al., 2013). In the characterization of the marine microbiome we have contributed to the VAHINE project by studying the microbial metatranscriptome and community omposition in the South-West Pacific (Pfreundt et al., 2016a,b; Spungin et al., 2016; van Wambeke, 2016).