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Axel Brakhage by Webmaster Keynote speakers Rise of the Fungi 2020-02-26 10:20:09
 

Professor Axel Brakhage, scientific director of the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology in Jena (Germany) will speak about biologically active compounds produced during microbial interactions and how biotechnology tools allow us mastering their biosynthesis, in his keynote lecture for the session ‘Fungal applications: metabolites and enzymes’.

The sequencing of fungal genomes has revealed an unexpected high potential for secondary metabolite production. Most of these biosynthetic pathways are however inactive under laboratory conditions. The key question is how to activate those silent genes? The development of biotechnology tools to do that is closely related to understanding how the production of compounds is regulated in fungi. Aspergillus species are the model organism that Prof. Axel Brakhage uses most to study this regulation and find new strategies to ‘unlock’ the genes. For example, simulating the natural habitat by co-cultivation of microorganisms, like bacteria, from the same ecological niche, already led to the activation of silent gene clusters and the production of new compounds in Aspergillus nidulans. More about new advances in fungal secondary metabolism in Prof. Brakhage’s talk.