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Natural products in organismic communication

Organisms produce a variety of subestances as means of communication with their environment or as defence against invaders. For example, bacteria and fungi in the soil produce such natural products as defense mechanisms against predatory microorganisms. The antimicrobial activity of these substances makes them ideal candidates for the development of novel therapeutics.

Many natural products, which may be toxic or influence the immune system, are also involved in triggering infectious diseases. And yet plants command a very broad range of biologically active substances in roots, shoots and leaves that help to protect them against pests of all kinds or to ensure the maintenance of their species: especially by means of attracting pollinators.

The complete decoding of various microbial genomes proves that microorganisms harbour an even larger potential for the synthesis of natural products than previously assumed – many substances have not yet been identified nor have their effects been reviewed. Scientists in Jena are employing innovative microbiological, genetic and biochemical methods to isolate, analyse and optimise these substances in order to make them available for human use.

Contact

Dr. Michael Ramm
Research Coordinator
Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans-Knoell-Institute (HKI)
Phone: +49-3641-532 1011
Email: michael.ramm(at)leibniz-hki.de

Prof. Dr. Axel Brakhage
Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans-Knoell-Institute (HKI)

Angela Overmeyer
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

Dr. Michael Ramm
Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans-Knoell-Institute (HKI)

 

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