In the ToxPot project, the objective is to investigate whether the hitherto unused above-ground parts of potato plants, including the potato berries and the constituents they contain, can be made available for use.
Primary metabolism contains all conversions, which are obligatory to live. This includes energy metabolism as well as structure metabolism being necessary to (re)-form all great structures of living beings. Without primary metabolism living is impossible. In contrast, secondary metabolism , whose products are facultative, appears as luxury. However, these "luxury"-compounds are the basis allowing an organism to settle within a particular ecological niche. Hence, secondary metabolites enable the diversity of species on earth. Or in other words: the "struggle for life" is fought by means of secondary metabolism. The variety of secondary metabolism exceeds the variability of primary metabolism many times over due to the diversity of species and the vast facettes, how the struggle for life is been carried out. The work group for "Secondary Metabolism Enzymology" is eager to investigate unknown enzymes from secondary metabolism and searches for their synthetic application. The main focus lies on metabolic pathways from plants bearing a high number of natural compounds as sessile entities. We are aiming in studying these metabolic features in molecular detail and making them biotechnologically accessible by combining both, the advantages of white (microbial) biotechnology with the anabolic diversity of plants.