• [Translate to English:] The study of the nature of the microbial world

    [Translate to English:] The study of the nature of the microbial world

    [Translate to English:] and the advocacy to preserve biodiversity are central focus points of our work.

  • [Translate to English:] The study of the nature

    [Translate to English:] Renewable carbon

    [Translate to English:] of the microbial world and the advocacy to preserve biodiversity are central focus points of our work.

Nature solved many problems, which industrial microbiologists encounter, when establishing microbial production processes. Natural adaptation to all possible ecological niches bred microorganisms, ready to tackle many industrial tasks. Our lab takes advantage of this natural biodiversity to find cell factories, which are as best as possible suited for the conditions, required by the industrial processes. We focus on chemical production from renewable resources to contribute to the development of a carbon neutral society.

Our lab’s philosophy is to combine natures diversity with synthetic biology, to develop bio-processes as close as possible to industrial realities. We employ bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi of different origins. Lactic acid bacteria are among our favorites as they combine extraordinary stress resistance with high carbon flux rates and low biomass formation.

For our synthetic approaches we are focusing on membrane transport phenomena. Compartmentalization is a basic principle of life. The minimal compartment is built by the cell membrane, dividing a hostile “outside” from the living “inside”. The decision, which compounds are transported in which direction is of utmost importance for the survival of any given cell. It is also of major interest for industrial microbiologists as substrate uptake and product export are limiting factors for bio-processes. Our lab is dedicated to understand transport mechanisms better and to make use of this knowledge for bio-process development.

CD-Lab for Biotechnology of Glycerol

#FEMSmicroBlog: Citric acid transporter and 'a matter of honor'

A new paper in FEMS Yeast Research by Anna Erian identified the transporter of citric acid in the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica. Optimisation of industrial production of citric acid using yeasts is one step ahead. In this #BehindThePaper interview for the #FEMSmicroBlog, we spoke with senior author Michael Sauer who presents the significance of the paper to different audiences and tells why, sometimes, finding the right protein is a matter of honor. #FascinatingMicrobes 

New Publication in Nature Biotech

The industrial yeast Pichia pastoris is converted from a heterotroph into an autotroph capable of growth on CO2. (2019) Gaßler, T., Sauer M., Gasser B., Egermeier M., Troyer Ch., Causon T., Hann St., Mattanovich D., Steiger M. Nature Biotechnology https://doi.org/10.1038/s41587-019-0363-0

New Raw Material: Aconitic Acid

Scientists at the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (acib) succeded in using the mold fungi Aspergillus niger to produce aconitic acid - a new raw material and important building block for the production of non-toxic bioplastics. (published in: Bioplastics Magazine 06/2017, p36)

Michael Sauer, Assoc. Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dipl.Natw. ETH FH-Prof. Dr.

H79200 Institute of Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology
H79000 Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
H10240 Ethikplattform

+43 1 47654-79105
Postal address
Institute of Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology
Muthgasse 18/V
1190 Vienna
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1190 Wien