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GRK 1482 Jahrbuch 2011-2014

SENIOR PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS GRK Annual Report 2011-2014 | Page 15 Education / Degrees 1983 -1990 Biology, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany 1990 Diploma in Biology 1996 Dr. rer. nat. at the Chair of Microbiology, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg 2006 Habilitation and venia legendi for Microbiology (Technische Universität München) Positions held 1996 - 1998 Postdoc and DFG fellow at the Chair of Microbiology, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany 1998 Postdoc in the Helicobacter vaccine project at the Max Planck-Institute of Infection Biology, Tübingen, Germany 1999 - 2002 Postdoc and group leader at the CREATOGEN AG, Augsburg, Germany 2002 - 2006 Group leader at the ZIEL, Dept. of Microbiology, and habilitand at the WZW, Dept. of Biosciences, Technische Universität München, Germany Since 2012 Professor at the WZW Research Interests and Achievements 1. The virulence of enteropathogenic bacteria is affected by their metabolic capacities. In a high-throughput approach, we recently found yet uncha- racterized metabolic properties required for intracellular survival of Listeria monocytogenes. Data modelling revealed the metabolic traits most relevant for its proliferation within human epithelial cells, and mice infection assays identified novel virulence factors such as the pyruvate carboxylase as promising antilisterial targets. 2. Specific adaptations allow salmonellae to occupy metabolic niches within the gut, thus circumventing colonisation resistance. We have iden- tified a novel genome island of Salmonella enterica responsible for inosi- tol degradation. Characteristic features of Salmonella growth with inosi- tol as sole carbon and energy source are the extraordinarily long lag phase and a bistable phenotype. We identified a novel activator protein for inositol degradation that is present only in salmonellae. 3. Using novel invertebrate infection models, we could recently demonstrate that yersiniae express nematocidal and insecticidal activities. A striking feature of this toxicity is its strictly temperature-dependent expression. The insecticidal toxins of yersiniae are distinct from the Bacillus thurin- giensis toxin and have the potential to be used in pest control. Our fin- dings shed further light on the evolution and life cycles of Yersinia spp. Prof. Dr. Thilo M. Fuchs Technische Universtität München Microbial Ecology Weihenstephaner Berg 3, D-85350 Freising-Weihenstephan Selected Publications Fuchs TM, Kern T, Eisenreich W, Dandekar T. Towards a systemic understanding of Listeria monocytogenes metabolism during infection. Frontiers in Microbiology 3, 2012, Article 23. Fuchs T M. Eisenreich W, Heesemann J, Goebel W. Metabolic adaptation of human pathogenic and related non-pathogenic bacteria to extra- and intracellular habitats. FEMS Reviews Microbiology 2012, 36:435-462. Fuchs T M, Brandt K, Starke M, Rattei T. Shot- gun sequencing of Yersinia enterocolitica strain W22703 (biovar 2, serovar O:9): genomic evi- dence for oscillation between invertebrates and mammals. BMC Genomics , 2011, 12:168. Kröger C, Srikumar S., Ellwart J, Fuchs TM. Bis- tability in myo-inositol utilization by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. J. Bacteriol., 2011, 193:1427-1435. Srikumar S, Fuchs TM. Ethanolamine utilization contributes to proliferation of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in food and in nematodes. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2011, 277:281-290. Research Goals To identify specific metabolic adaptations of enteropathogens required for infection, and interdependencies between pathogenic bacteria, the diet and the microbiome To characterize the molecular mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of bacterial heterogeneity, exemplified by the bistable phenotype of salmonellae growing with inositol To investigate the toxic activity of yersiniae towards invertebrates