CombiCom (BioSC FocusLab)

CombiCom Logo Copyright: © BioSC

Nature offers a tremendous variety of bioactive plant-derived secondary metabolites, of which only a very small fraction is known and has been characterized. The BioSC FocusLab CombiCom represents an interdisciplinary approach to systematically assemble, engineer, and test metabolic pathways for the synthesis of bioactive prodiginines, sesquiterpenes, and glycolipids in selected microbial production hosts. Mutasynthesis, protein engineering and metabolic pathway engineering approaches will be pursued to generate a library of novel bioactive compounds finally evaluated via bioassays.

  Working units within the CombiCom consortium Copyright: © BioSC

Figure: CombiCom is subdivided into four working units, WU1 – WU4, within which 9 different work packages are integrated. WU1: Synthetic Biology Platform (Consortium: Jaeger / Drepper / Loeschcke; Feldbrügge / Schipper; Schurr / Behrendt; Zurbriggen; Pietruszka / Classen; Schwaneberg / Ruff / Schiffels); WU2: Production Process (Büchs / Regestein); WU3: Multi-step evaluation pipeline (Grundler / Schleker); WU4: Social implications (Bröring / Baum). For further information, please access the CombiCom Website at:


    The NGBC division will play an important role in the CombiCom project consortium. We will engineer, by directed evolution and semi-rational design, β-caryophyllene synthase QHS1 from Artemisia annua to alter the sesquiterpene product spectrum. Sesquiterpene synthases utilize one universal precursor substrate, farnesyl diphosphate. The engineered variants will be passed on to the collaboration partners for implementation in microbial chassis. The CombiCom project is fully funded for three years and employs a large and interdisciplinary consortium comprising ten partners from the universities of Aachen, Düsseldorf and Bonn as well as the Research Centre Jülich.

    In CombiCom, we team up with…

    • Prof. Dr. Karl-Erich Jaeger / Dr. Thomas Drepper / Dr. Anita Loeschcke – HHU Düsseldorf; Institute for Molecular Enzyme Technology (IMET) @ Research Centre Juelich (FZ Juelich)
    • Prof. Dr. Michael Feldbrügge / Dr. Kerstin Schipper – HHU Düsseldorf; Microbiology
    • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schurr / Dr. Dominik Behrendt – Research Centre Juelich (FZ Juelich); IBG-2 – Plant Sciences
    • Prof. Dr. Matias Zurbriggen – HHU Düsseldorf; Synthetic Biology
    • Prof. Dr. Jörg Pietruszka / Dr. Thomas Classen – HHU Düsseldorf; Institute for Bioorganic Chemistry (IBOC)
    • Prof. Dr. Jochen Büchs / Dr. Lars Regestein – RWTH Aachen; AVT – Biochemical Engineering (AVT.BioVT)
    • Prof. Dr. Florian Grundler / Dr. Sylvia Schleker – Bonn University; INRES – Molecular Phytomedicine
    • Prof. Dr. Stefanie Bröring / Dr. Chad Baum – Bonn University; ILR – Technology and Innovation Management in Agribusiness
    • Division Molecular Bioeconomy – headed by Dr. Anna Joëlle Ruff