Update – Spring 2020

Despite the highly unusual circumstances these days, we are happy to announce some exciting news from our group! Also, after weeks of home officing, we are now slowly starting to go back to the lab for … of course … more Nanopore sequencing. Stay healthy and stay tuned for more news from our group coming soon!

New students

A warm welcome to our new students Lena and Franziska! Lena is studying at the TU Darmstadt and doing an internship in our group. She is boosting our meta-analysis study on microbial communities in biogas reactors. Franziska is studying at Leipzig University and will do her master thesis project with us. She will leverage long read Nanopore sequencing data to investigate plasmids, phages, prophages, and more in microbial communities from biogas reactors.

New publications

Congratulations to our PhD student Dani for publishing her very first first author paper! While metagenomic data from microbial communities can be readily obtained nowadays, its analysis remains challenging and time-consuming. Dani developed an alternative data analysis approach by incorporating prior knowledge about the microbial community under investigation. Thereby, results can be obtained faster and they are more accurate. Read the full paper here!

Furthermore, Denny was involved in two other studies which were published recently. In the first study, options for microbial resource management were investigated in the biomethanation process in collaboration with Denny’s former group and in particular with Washington Logroño. Methane production from hydrogen and carbon dioxide can be steered by optimizing media composition, reducing agent, and stirring intensity. Read all the details here!

The second study was another collaboration with Song-Can Chen, always a pleasure. Here, we showed how the Great Oxidation Event around 2.4 billion years ago expanded the arsenal of detoxification of oxidized arsenic species. Check out the details here!


Becker, D., Popp, D., Harms, H., & Centler, F. (2020). A Modular Metagenomics Pipeline Allowing for the Inclusion of Prior Knowledge Using the Example of Anaerobic Digestion. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8050669

Logroño, W., Popp, D., Kleinsteuber, S., Sträuber, H., Harms, H., & Nikolausz, M. (2020). Microbial Resource Management for Ex Situ Biomethanation of Hydrogen at Alkaline pH. Microorganisms, 8(4), 614. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8040614

Chen, S.-C., Sun, G.-X., Yan, Y., Konstantinidis, K. T., Zhang, S.-Y., Deng, Y., Li, X.-M., Cui, H.-L., Musat, F., Popp, D., Rosen, B. P., & Zhu, Y.-G. (2020). The Great Oxidation Event expanded the genetic repertoire of arsenic metabolism and cycling. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 202001063. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2001063117

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