Analysis of Natural Products in Complex Biosystems - Multimodal Photonic-Based Investigations, Metabolomics and MALDI-Imaging
Most projects within this CRC are supported by analytical techniques in multiple ways. Multimodal photonic and spectroscopic imaging approaches as well as MALDI-imaging mass spectrometry (MS) enable to locate chemical mediators within or around producers or within complex communities. The spatial resolution in chemical imaging can be paired with microscopic investigations thereby revealing information about the producer, the excretion mechanism and the distribution of chemical mediators in a community. In addition, information about the regulation of metabolic processes in interactions can be obtained by metabolomics techniques. The central role of this project within the CRC is to provide all CRC members access to a broad variety of spectroscopic, photonic and MS-based approaches to investigate chemical mediators. It is closely connected with INF that focuses on the computational identification of metabolites based on spectroscopic data. In the first funding period, the project offered advanced vibrational spectroscopic techniques, particularly linear Raman spectroscopy, to characterize the impact of chemical mediators on cellular interaction. Specifically, linear Raman microspectroscopy has been applied to better understand the shuttling and prevalence of metabolites during intercellular communication.
The CRC consortium also benefited substantially from independently offered GC-MS as well as LC-MS based metabolomics using high-resolution instruments that support structure elucidation (C01) and MALDI-imaging MS techniques (B01). Metabolomics allowed, amongst others, to pinpoint the diurnal variation of metabolite production in microalgae and MALDI-Imaging MS was applied to study e.g. fungus gardens from termite mounds. As a result of the successful project overarching work, we realized that these contributions of the research projects should now be bundled in a single Z-project with scientists devoted to service oriented high quality analytics. This arrangement will also allow the scientists within B01 and C01 to better focus on their own projects but still to closely interact with the imaging and metabolomics platforms. The analytical role of the Z02 project will be further expanded to host other types of optical as well as MS-based methods. We will offer a platform to all projects within the CRC that supports the analytics of natural product structure, formation, prevalence and localization in complex communities. New spectroscopic techniques and faster imaging modalities will be offered like e.g. non-linear microspectroscopy based on coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS), stimulated Raman scattering (SRS), second harmonic generation (SHG), multi-photon excited fluorescence (MPEF) or fluorescence life-time imaging microscopy (FLIM). The combination of different methods and a development of a pipeline from metabolomics to chemoinformatics (INF) and imaging will be a priority in Z02.
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Popp
Prof. Dr. Christian Hertweck
Chair for Natural Product Chemistry, Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Department for Biomolecular Chemistry
Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans-Knöll-Institute
Prof. Dr. Georg Pohnert
Dr. Petra Rösch
Institute of Physical Chemistry
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Dr. Remington Poulin
Metabolomics Consortium Head
Intitute of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry
Friedrich Schiller University Jena