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Molecular Microbiology

By Prof. Wilbert Bitter & Dr. Joen Lurink

The central theme in the section of Molecular Microbiology is the bacterial cell envelope. Bacteria play an important role for live on earth, for instance because of their pivotal role in biochemical cycles, in food digestion and as causative agents of infectious diseases. 

The bacterial cell envelope is the structure that separates the bacteria from its environment and therefore plays a central role in the interaction of the bacterium with the outside world. Bacteria have to keep their cell envelopes intact and as impermeable as possible to avoid lethal damage to their membranes. However, they also have to transport nutrients and even entire proteins across this cell envelope and introduce new building blocks during cell growth. How do bacteria address these contrasting requirements?

In our section we use genetic, molecular and biochemical techniques to study the functioning of the cell envelope and cell envelope processes. Our results not only add to a better understanding of the bacteria, but can also be used for biotechnological and medical purposes.

Main research themes include: