Commichau, Fabian, Prof. Dr.

Professor at Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus - Senftenberg

  • 2003 Diploma in Biology, RWTH Aachen
  • 2006 PhD in Microbiology (Dr. rer. nat.), University of Göttingen
  • 2006-2008 Postdoc, University of Göttingen
  • 2008-2009 Postdoc, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland
  • 2009-2011 Scientist, DSM Nutritional Products Ltd, Kaiseraugst, Switzerland
  • 2011 Group leader, University of Göttingen
  • 2015 Habilitation (Microbiology) University of Göttingen
  • since 09/2019 Professor at Brandenburgische Technische Universität
    Cottbus - Senftenberg

Major Research Interests
We are interested in the control of glutamate metabolism in the Gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis. Glutamate is the major amino group donor in every living cell. Therefore, glutamate biosynthesis and degradation have to be tightly regulated. B. subtilis possesses two glutamate dehydrogenases that are active in catabolism and in controlling de novo synthesis of glutamate by forming a complex with a transcription factor. Currently, we study the molecular details of the regulatory protein complex. We are also interested in genomic adaptation of B. subtilis to perturbation of glutamate homeostasis. In this project, we aim at elucidating the underlying molecular mechanisms that are crucial for genome maintenance and adaptability. In collaboration with Prof. Dr. Jörg Stülke, we are working on the construction of Minibacillus, a minimal organism based on B. subtilis ( The final goal is to obtain a minimal organism that is equipped with a core genome in which the function of each gene is known. Cyclic di-AMP (c-di-AMP) is a signalling nucleotide that is essential for many bacteria including the human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. c-di-AMP seems to be the major osmoregulator in many bacteria. By applying genetic as well as biochemical approaches we want to identify the environmental signals that control c-di-AMP synthesis and degradation. Finally, we are working on novel routes for production of the commercially valuable substance vitamin B6 by B. subtilis.

Homepage Department/Research Group

Selected Recent Publications

  • Acevedo-Rocha C, Gronenberg L S, Mack M, Commichau F M, Genee H J (2019) Microbial cell factories for the sustainable manufacturing of B vitamins. Curr Opin Biotechnol 56: 1-12.
  • Wicke D, Schulz L M, Lentes S, Scholz P, Poehlein A, Gibhardt J, Daniel R, Ischebeck T, Commichau F M (2019) Identification of the first glyphosate transporter by genomic adaptation. Environ Microbiol 21: 1287-1305.
  • Richts B, Rosenberg J, Commichau F M (2019) A survey of pyridoxal 5’-phosphate–dependent proteins in the Gram-positive model bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Front Mol Biosci 6: 32.
  • Rosenberg J, Commichau FM (2019) Harnessing underground metabolism for pathway development. Trends Biotechnol 37: 29-37.
  • Dormeyer M, Lentes S, Ballin P, Wilkens M, Klumpp S, Kohlheyer D, Stannek L, Grünberger A, Commichau FM (2018) Visualization of tandem repeat mutagenesis in Bacillus subtilis. DNA Repair (Amst). 63C: 10-15
  • Rosenberg J, Yeak KC, Commichau, FM (2018) A two-step evolutionary process establishes a non-native vitamin B6 pathway in Bacillus subtilis. Environ Microbiol. 20: 156-168
  • Commichau FM, Gibhardt J, Halbedel S, Gundlach J, Stülke J (2018) A delicate connection: c-di-AMP affects cell integrity by controlling osmolyte transport. Trends in Microbiol. In press.
  • Dormeyer M, Lübke AL, Müller P, Lentes S, Reuß DR, Thürmer A, Stülke J, Daniel R, Brantl S, Commichau FM (2017) Hierarchical mutational events compensate for glutamate auxotrophy of a Bacillus subtilis gltC mutant. Environ Microbiol Rep. 9: 279-289
  • Reuß DR, Altenbuchner J, Mäder U, Rath H, Ischebeck T, Sappa PK, Thürmer A, Guerin C, Nicolas P, Steil L, Zhu B, Feussner I, Klumpp S, Daniel R, Commichau FM, Völker U, Stülke J (2017) Large-scale reduction of the Bacillus subtilis genome: Consequences for the transcriptional network, resource allocation, and metabolism. Genome Res. 27: 289-299