Molecular Phytopathology and Renewable Resources

AG Prof. Dr. Bruno Moerschbacher
© Stefan Hoffmann

General information

  • We are an international group of ca. 30 BSc and MSc students, doctoral and post-doctoral researchers as well as ...

    We are an international group of ca. 30 BSc and MSc students, doctoral and post-doctoral researchers as well as research technicians, with strong international and interdisciplinary links to partners from Academia and Industry, mainly in Europe, India, South Africa, and Brazil. Many of our research projects are supported financially by the European Union, such as the CARAPAX, NanoBioSaccharides and PolyModE projects in the past and the ongoing Nano3Bio project, all aiming at understanding molecular structure/function relationships of chitosans. Currently, our main focus is on the discovery, characterization, optimization, and use of novel chitin and chitosan modifying enzymes to understand and improve bio-active chitosans for applications e.g. in plant disease protection or biomedicine. One of our recent European projects, ChitoBioEngineering, aiming at a biotechnologial production of chitosans, was supported financially by Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF, and a current one, FunChi, aiming at chitosan production from fungal fermentation wastes, is supported by the Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe FNR of Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft, BMEL. Two recent projects together with industry partners, supported by Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft, BMWi, aim to understand the cellular modes of action of plant growth promoting chitosans (ChitoGrow), and to use chitin from fungal fermentation wastes for the biotechnological production of fine chemicals (F2F). Financially supported by Deutsche Forschungs-Gemeinschaft DFG and University Grants Commission UGC of India, we launched, in 2009, the first Indo-German International Research Training Group on Molecular and Cellular Glyco-Sciences MCGS, together with the University of Hyderabad. In 2011, we started the first Indo-German Public-Private Partnership 2+2-project on Copper-Loaded Chitosan-Nanoparticles and Bio-Control Agents for Plant Protection, CuChi-BCA, financially supported by BMBF and Department of Biotechnology DBT of India. Our projects also profit from financial support through individual PhD fellowships from Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst DAAD and from Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt DBU. To support the translation of our fundamental research results into marketable products, we have recently set up a service unit, ChitoProf. ChitoProf offers well defined chitosans, recombinant and engineered chitin and chitosan modifying enzymes, and chemical as well as biological analyses of chitosans and their functionalities to researchers in academia and industry. The aim is to fill the knowledge gap concerning structure-function relationships of partially acetylated chitosan polymers and oligomers, and thus to support the development of reliable and efficient products and applications using these chitosans.

Prof. Martin Peter visited us for a seminar

© Martin Peter

Today, Prof. Martin Peter - founding member, former President and current Secretary of the European Chitin Society EUCHIS, former professor at the University of Potsdam and one of the globally leading chitosan experts - visited us and gave a seminar in our lab meeting.
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Half-annual consortium meeting of the nanoControl project in Münster

© nanoControl

Today, the partners of the nanoControl project financially supported by the ZIM program (Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand) of the Federal Ministry for Economy and Energy (BMWi) met in Münster for the half annual consortium meeting, to discuss the results obtained so far, and the plans for the next six months.
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Sven Basa successfully defended his PhD thesis

© Sruthi Sreekumar

Today, Sven Basa successfully defended his PhD thesis, supported by his first and second referees, Prof. Bruno Moerschbacher and Prof. Andreas Hensel, from the Institute for Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytochemistry, as well as his third doctoral committee member, Prof. Jens Leker, from the Institute of Business Administration, the latter two from the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy of our University.
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