The Institute's central task is to understand the way microorganisms work at the molecular, cellular and ecological level. Institute scientists are concerned, on the one hand, with getting to the bottom of the metabolic diversity of microorganisms. On the other hand, they analyse the mechanisms that enable microorganisms to adapt to changing environmental influences and to modify themselves accordingly. Furthermore, the scientists investigate how the organisms regulate their cell structure and their reproduction. They also study the biogeochemical processes responsible for the exchange of climatically-relevant trace gases. These analyses encompass all functional levels, from the atomic and structural level to the molecular and cellular level, through to biochemistry and physiology, microbial communities and the association of microorganisms with plants.
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