ProjectInstitutspartnerschaft Mikrobiologie Tübingen - Sector Litoral UFPR

Basic data

Institutspartnerschaft Mikrobiologie Tübingen - Sector Litoral UFPR
01/01/2020 to 31/12/2022
Abstract / short description:
This project aims to establish a long term Brazil-Germany research network to study the role of PII signal transduction proteins in different organisms including agriculture important nitrogen-fixing bacteria Azospirillum brasilense, cyanobacteria, and a world feeding plant, rice Oryza sativa and the model organism Escherichia coli
The biology of the PII proteins has been studied for many years in several international laboratories. The principal investigators from Brazil and Germany in this proposal have discovered important aspects of the biology of PII proteins being the major scientists in this field word-wide. This information is supported by their publications of research articles and reviews in major scientific journals including: PNAS, Cell, Molecular Microbiology, FEMS Microbiology Reviews and Microbiology, Trends in Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews.
The Brazil-Germany associated laboratories in this proposal have ongoing collaboration since 2014. Collectively, we have discovered that the PII proteins (which are the main focus of this proposal) have a much broader regulatory role in controlling cellular metabolism than previously envisaged by the literature. We have found that PII act as a negative inhibitor of the committed and regulatory step in fatty acid biosynthesis in Bacteria (list of joint publications below). This finding has major implications in biotechnology, we found that a PII knock-out in cyanobacteria has increased accumulation of lipids and this may help to improve the yields of biodiesel production algae. We also discovered that PII gene knock-out enhances fatty acid biosynthesis in E. coli.
Our joint unpublished data support that PII proteins act as a master regulatory unit controlling major Nitrogen and Carbon pathways in Prokaryotes and plants by interacting with central regulatory enzymes and transporters. This project aims to further characterize these novels PII-target protein complex at biochemical and structural levels. Furthermore, we will determine the evolutionary conservation of these protein complexes by assessing their presence in distantly related organisms ranging from bacteria to plants.
This project will reinforce the current Brazil-Germany collaboration by the implementation of mobile for researchers allowing the exchange of knowledge, techniques and data to improve qualitatively not only the scientific production of the associated laboratories but also the generation of specialized human resources in the field of molecular biology, biochemistry, plant biology and microbiology. The project will allow to consolidate the lab in Brazil with a major equipment (multi-functional plate reader) that will help the biochemical characterization of several enzymes. The budget for consumables will also help to maintain the lab in Brazil.

Involved staff


Faculty of Science
University of Tübingen
Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine (IMIT)
Interfaculty Institutes

Local organizational units

Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine (IMIT)
Interfaculty Institutes
University of Tübingen


Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

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