Our vision of fitness
Fitness is decisive for performance in any environment. For microbes in food fermentation it is the primary prerequisite to conduct a fermentation namely in non-pasterized raw materials. As our interest is focussed on cereal and meat systems, which cannot be pasteurized, we have a strong interest in fitness related traits of starter cultures. For these stress response and metabolic deviation connected with it can be positively exploited.
Fitness determinants can also enhance virulence of bacteria and may even be considered as true virulence determinants. Some of these traits including adhesive properties of surface antigens, tolerance to toxic derivatives of oxygen, or seemingly nutritive proteases are shared between strains considered to be probiotic or pathogen. Thus, fitness may be decisive for microbe - host negotiations.
While identification of "fitness" determinants is one of our prime interests, projects involving investigations on fitness are listed under "Interaction" or the "Specials" subsection on "exopolysaccharides". This is because bacterial and bacteria - yeast interaction strongly depend on environmental parameters including redox potential, biofilm formation or pH. Please go there for respective information on ongoing projects, which deliver practically understandable driving forces for fitness research.
Fit for more is our understanding of the performance of scientists in our group.