Welcome to the website of the Designer Glycans independent research group at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry in Halle (Germany).
Two exciting career opportunities are available in the Designer Glycans group starting February 2022. The PhD and postdoctoral positions are fully funded and offer outstanding benefits. Our ambitious independent juniorContinue reading “Funding for PhD and Postdoc Available”
We significantly revised our preprint on the modular biosynthesis of plant heteromannans and uploaded the new version to bioRxiv. Full-text: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.04.20.440611v2.full
Despite rising interest in the engineering of polysaccharide-based biomaterials, relatively little is known about how plant hemicelluloses can be built and tailored in non-plant cell factories. Pichia pastoris is aContinue reading “New preprint on yeast bioengineering to produce modular plant hemicellulose”
We are happy to welcome Sooyun Lee and Tilman Jacob to the Designer Glycans lab. Sooyun first joined us for an internship in February to evaluate fluorescent reporters in PichiaContinue reading “Two new MSc students join the lab”
Glycans densely cover the surface of all life forms. Although carbohydrates are essential for our health, energy and materials needs, these complex molecules have received relatively little attention compared to nucleic acids and proteins. Most of the organic biomass on Earth is stored in polysaccharide-rich walls, which enable plants to thrive in a remarkable range of environments. The Designer Glycans group seeks mechanistic insight into plant glycan function, synthesis, and modification. Advances in these areas will enhance our fundamental knowledge of plant biochemistry and pave the way for the assembly of sugar units into tailor-made polysaccharides with desirable agricultural or industrial properties.
The Designer Glycans lab uses several approaches (natural variation, reverse genetics and synthetic biology) to discover enzymes and chemical mediators that establish and modulate cellulose-hemicellulose networks in plants. We primarily focus on heteromannan, an ancient class of hemicellulose that is found throughout the plant kingdom. Polymers built of β-1,4-linked mannose units are particularly abundant in algae, legumes, and conifers. From ice cream to cosmetics, many products contain legume-extracted galactomannans as stabilizers.