Microbial-Carbohydrate Interactions Group

Emmy Noether Research Group (DFG)

[Translate to English:] Sea shore showing algae beds
[Translate to English:] Green signal in cells is specific sugar
[Translate to English:] Bacteria on Agar plate

Research Aims

Overall scientific aim: Phenotype bacterial microbiomes to identify physiological capacities and quantify heterotrophy in situ.

Simply put, with our research, we aim to discover what mechanisms bacteria use to degrade complex sugars and how this affects the environment in which they live. For example, the turnover of sugars in the oceans and how this affects the global carbon cycle or the degradation of sugars in human and animal digestive systems and how this affects health. 

We aim to redefine how we analyse microbial heterotrophy by using novel culture-independent approaches to study the phenotypes of microorganisms. For example, using fluorescent substrate analogues to observe a microbial metabolism using microscopy. We apply a wide range of methods from the fields of molecular ecology to identify the organisms and discover what they can potentially do (DNA extraction, PCR, diversity analysis by 16S rRNA, metagenomics, FISH and microscopy). We focus our research on microbiology using representative cultures for growth analysis and activity measurments under variing conditions. Finally we use glycobiological techniques to extract sugars and label them for activity analysis (carbohydrate extractions, sugar analysis, fluorescent sugar production). 

We hope to discover how individual microorganisms use distinct bacterial foraging mechanisms to process polysaccharides and how this affects substrate availability to the wider microbial community.

Dr Greta Reintjes


Dr. Greta Reintjes

Büro 3975, BIOM, James-Watt-Str. 1
28359 Bremen

Email reintjesprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Telephone: 0421-218-56655


MiCarb logo


Our research is funding by the German Research Foundation (Deutschen Forschungs Gemeinschaft (DFG)) as part of the Emmy Noether Programme. The DFG is a central, self-governing research funding organisation that promotes research at universities.

Emmy Noether logo DFG