Introduction

Observing complex systems at different scales (organisms to ecosystems) with high chemical resolution gives us new insights and understanding of generic processes across biology and geochemistry.

We aim at describing the metabolites chemodiversity of highly dynamic systems in health and environment with the tools of metabolomics and metallomics. The results of each individual project are going to be integrated in a comprehensive metabolite database involving exact masses from our direct infusion FT-ICR-MS (in ESI(-/+)), outcome of harmonized UHPLC-qToF-MS methods (in ESI(-/+)) using reversed phase and HILIC separations and high-resolution cryo-800MHz NMR spectroscopy. Following this approach systematically over all various matrices with the same SOP enables us to setup a growing cross-kingdom metabolite database as the basis of metabolite cartography. In environmental systems the superimposition of biotic and abiotic transformations adds in complexity and chemodiversity. Here systematic analyses of purely chemical synthesized systems (Fischer-Tropsch, Maillard, photochemistry, oxidative polycondensations, thermochemical sulfate reduction, etc.) enable us to fulfill the chemical puzzle together with our metabolomics expertise in biotransformations.

Metabolomes, differential metabolomes and meta-metabolomes are obtained at three different levels of interaction complexity. Methods are developed at BGC and in collaborations to integrate these metabolomics data with other omics in various projects (deep sequencing, meta/transcriptomics, meta/proteomics). The various presented projects are implemented within a dense network of collaborations within the Helmholtz Zentrum München.

I - Single organisms level

We follow specific metabolomes affected by changes in genomes or stress situations in plants, humans and model organisms (C. elegans).

II - Species and community level

We follow differential metabolome and interactome to study inter-organismic signaling and interaction in the rhizosphere and pathogen caused disease. One focus of our work are the functional aspects of important molecular markers, especially the study of their bioactive properties.

III - Systems level

We follow meta-metabolomes integration of microbiomes in BioGeosystems under natural conditions and in stress situations (biotic and abiotic process differentiation in environmental ecosystems, exposures, nutrition/diabetes or inflammation).