Michael Bölker

Michael Bölker

Prof. Dr. Michael Bölker

Karl-von-Frisch-Straße 8, 35032 Marburg
+49-6421 28 21536


Research area

The phytopathogenic fugus Ustilago maydis is an interesting molecular model system to study biochemical and cell biological aspects of fungal pathogenicity. U. maydis is easy to handle and genetically tractable. This allows the detailed analysis of basic biological functions. In our group, we are interested in understanding (1) the molecular organization of polarized growth, (2) the regulation and catalytic abilities of secondary metabolism and (3) the biogenesis and metabolic function of peroxisomes.


Research project

Peroxisomes are involved in the degradation of long chain fatty acids and occur in all eukaryotes. We could recently demonstrate that fungal peroxisomes display an extended metabolism. This results from the unexpected peroxisomal localization of glycolytic enzymes that normally reside in the cytoplasm. Based on the elucidation of the peroxisomal import mechanisms of these proteins we aim at the construction of artificial peroxisomes. These can be used as place to accumulate proteins, to synthesize polymers and to produce toxic metabolites. By creation of an orthogonal import system, the peroxisomes can be supplied with novel proteins and metabolic capabilities. Since peroxisomes are separated from the cytoplasm by a lipid membrane they can be regarded as distinct reaction volume. This will be used to accumulate proteins in high concentrations. This occurs already in nature where some proteins form visible crystals inside of peroxisomes.


SYNMIKRO Young Researchers Groups

Almost all scientific members of SYNMIKRO are actively involved in DFG’s Collaborative Research Centers (Sonderforschungsbereiche), Research Training Groups (Graduiertenkollegs), or other Cooperative Research projects. Alongside performing adventurous experiments, and reporting excellent science, SYNMIKRO substantially promotes potential Young Research Group Leaders by constantly keeping its doors open to welcome and support Young Researchers planning to set up an Independent Research Group.
Our Young Research Groups