Max-Planck-Institut für terrestrische Mikrobiologie: Research on microorganisms – small cells with great potential

Life on our planet ultimately depends on microorganisms. Microorganisms have pivotal roles in biomass conversion, photosynthesis, and in promoting plant growth. They have important functions in the production of food products, and genetically modified microorganisms have trans­for­­med the pharmaceutical and biotech­nological industry. On the other hand, microorganisms cause many human, animal and plant diseases. The goal of the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Micro­­biology is to understand how micro­­or­­ganisms accomplish these tasks. Scientists at the institute explore the metabolic diversity of microorganisms, their ability to adapt and differentiate, the mechanisms involved in cell cycle regulation and cell polarity, biogeoche­­mical processes, and how microorganisms cause plant diseases. Methods used include genomics, protein structure determination, molecular and cellular analyses, and microbial community analyses.

The institute hosts 19 research groups, that have close collaborations with the Philipps University, giving microbial research in Marburg a unique breadth. Since 2010, the institute is part of the LOEWE Research Center for Synthetic Microbiology.


  1. Address

    Karl-von-Frisch-Straße 10
    D-35043 Marburg
    Telefon +49 (0) 6421 178-0
    Telefax +49 (0) 6421 178-999
  2. Year Of Establishment

  3. Business Activity

    basic research in microbiology