Max-Planck-Institut für terrestrische Mikrobiologie: Research on microorganisms – Small cells with great potentials

Life on our planet ultimately depends on microorganisms. Microorganisms have pivotal roles in biomass conversion, pho­­to­­synthesis, and in promoting plant growth. Microorganisms 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. The institute has close collaborations with the Philipps University giving microbial research in Marburg a unique breadth. Since 2010, the institute is also part of the LOEWE center for synthetic microbiology (SYNMIKRO).

  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

    Mikrobiologische Grundlagenforschung