The teaching, research and knowledge transfer activities in the Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry are devoted to the effects of microorganisms in the area of wine and beverage production and the factors that influence them, including climate change. Our spectrum has expanded to include the areas of cocoa fermentation, wine production from native and exotic fruits and quality assurance through the development of testing systems for production and product control. Our work is concerned primarily with microbially generated metabolites, especially aromatic substances, and how these are controlled by specific microorganisms, special population dynamics, technical measures and additives. For this we carry out detailed analyses of the genetic basis of microorganisms and the regulatory mechanisms that take place during the biosynthesis of aromatic substances.
The department has extensive equipment allowing the use of classical and modern methods of microbiology, analysis and molecular biology.
Many of the issues we address, such as changes in grape and wine quality under varying climatic conditions, undergo interdisciplinary investigation in internal university co-operations or in national and international networks.
The knowledge gained in this way is made available to the scientific community, the students and also, in adapted form, as professional development material and guidelines for the industry.
The current Head of Department is Prof. Dr. Jürgen Wendland.