Microbial Metabolomics

Group leader: Kristian Fog Nielsen

The group group focuses on microbial chemistry of small molecules (<3000 Da), working extensively with mass spectrometry (MS) and chromatography.

With expertise in cutting edge MS quantification techniques we collaborate extensively with microbiologists with expertise within fermentation, physiology, genetics, molecular biology, and transcriptomics, as this integrated approach nessecary for sucess. Experimental organisms covers fungi and micro algae, as well as gram-negative bacteria (with Prof. Lone Gram).

Secondary metabolites are our main focus area, but we also have major Projects within lipidomics (with Lars Hellgren) and primary metabolites where we currently focus on phosphorylated compounds of the central carbon metabolism including energy and redox compounds, a key point of this is close collaboration with our fermentation platform to ensure representative biological material for the analysis and correct quenching (1) methodology can also be used for signaling nucelotides as c-di-GMP (2).

Advanced mass spectrometry combined with chromatography is a core part of all our work where we have a long tradition of work on secondary metabolite profiling from micro-organisms especially fungi. Here we have a large collection of  more than 1500 unique secondary metabolite and mycotoxin reference standards. Here we provide cutting-edge dereplication (see 1, 2, 3) for novelty evaluation of secondary metabolites in e.g. drug discovery applications, now also including coupling this with MS/HRMS libraries and stable isotope-labelling for precursor detection.
This also involves many projects on characterization of biosynthetic pathways of polyketides (1) and non-ribosomal peptides (2)

As microorganisms produces significant amounts of materials which can interfere with mass spectrometric detection and even worse the media the organisms grows in contains even more interferences, we have a long traditionof working with sample preparation especially solid phase extraction (1, 2, 3, 4).



Kristian Fog Nielsen
Associate Professor
DTU Bioengineering
29 MARCH 2017