Current Research Questions

Microbial Response to Environment, Host and Stress

The ability of living organisms to adapt their metabolism to nutrient limitation, host or environmental changes is of outermost importance for survival. Central to this process are the nutritional alarmones pppGpp and ppGpp (collectively named: (p)ppGpp) that globally reprograms replication, transcription, translation and metabolism. We study all aspects of the molecular framework of (p)ppGpp from a molecular and systems biology perspective.


Read more: Steinchen W & Bange G (2016). The magic dance of the alarmones (p)ppGpp. Molecular Microbiology101(4):531-44

Host-Microbe interface

Microorganisms are well recognized as pathogens. More frequently, however, they are found in symbiotic or opportunistic relations with their hosts. We are interested in the communication at the host-microbe interface and the molecular mechanisms qualifying/quantifying these interactions as pathogenic, symbiotic or opportunistic.

Read more:   Han X, Altegoer F, Steinchen W, Binnebesel L, Schuhmacher J, Glatter T, Giammarinaro PI, Djamei A, Rensing SA, Reissmann S, Kahmann R and Bange G (2019). A kiwellin disarms the metabolic activity of a secreted fungal virulence factor. Nature 


Microbial Surface Structures

Flagella are the engines of bacterial motility and highly relevant for bacterial ecology (e.g. host-microbe interactions, biofilms). We study the molecular mechanisms underyling: i.) flagella biogenesis, ii.) spatial-numerical regulation of flagella and iii.) role of flagella for bacterial ecology.


Read more: Schuhmacher J, Thormann KM and Bange G (2015). How bacteria maintain location and number of flagella. FEMS Revies Microbiology, 39(6):812-22 OR Altegoer G & Bange G (2015). Undiscovered regions on the molecular landscape of flagella assembly. Current Opinion in Microbiology 28:98-105 


Microbial immunity

CRISPR-Cas systems are adaptive immune systems against invading nucleic acids. Sequence information of previously encountered invading nucleic acids is typically stored in CRISPR arrays, which allow for a target specific programming of CRISPR-Cas surveillance and effector complexes to counter recurrent invasion. Interestingly, although the CRISPR-Cas machinery that extends the CRISPR array upon novel threads is highly conserved, the surveillance and effector modules diversified substantially. Central objectives are: How are primary functions maintained with different components? How do varied components alter mechanisms? How are additional functions enabled?


Read more: Pausch P, Müller-Esparza H, Gleditzsch D, Altegoer F, Randau L, Bange G (2017). Structural variation of type I-F CRISPR RNA guided DNA surveillance.

Molecular Cell, DOI:

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