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Insect Biotechnology and Bioresources

  • Photo: Privat


Short description

In terms of biodiversity, insects are the most successful organisms: there are more than a million species described. The development of this biodiversity was associated with the acquisition of a huge arsenal of molecules with which insects can secure their food supply or defend themselves against diseases and parasites. The scientists of the Campus Research Focus “Insect Biotechnology and Bioresources“ employ biotechnological methods to use insects as a resource for new molecules for applications in medicine, crop protection and industrial biotechnology. One of the objectives of the research being conducted in Europe’s first cluster for insect biotechnology and bioresources is the identification and further development of active agents against infectious diseases, for pest control and against the spreading of insect-borne diseases, as well as new sources of protein to feed livestock. The leading-edge technology developed in this way has great economic and innovative potential that is being leveraged by the synergy potential of Central Hessen as a hub of science and technology with its research-oriented universities of Giessen and Marburg and the application-oriented research of the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences as well as that of the partners of the Fraunhofer Society. The interinstitutional cooperation is also being reflected in terms of infrastructure: November 2016 saw the groundbreaking ceremony for a new research facility where scientists of the Fraunhofer Institute of Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME), the Fraunhofer Project Group for Bioresources and involved study groups of the Justus Liebig University will conduct research under one roof. Ultimately, this infrastructure is to develop into an independent Fraunhofer Institute for Bioresources.  

Successful Joint Research
  • Participation in DFG Priority Programme SPP 1399: Host-Parasite Coevolution – Rapid Reciprocal Adaptation and its Genetic Basis
    Project 1: Reciprocal genetic diversification and adaption of host proteinase inhibitors and parasite-associated proteinases during coevolution of insects and entomopathogenic fungi (VI 219/3-1)
    Funding period: 2011 to 2013
    Project 2: The role of epigenetics in host–parasite coevolution (VI 219/3-2)
    Funding period: 2014 to 2016
  • LOEWE Research Cluster BioIM: Bioengineering & Imaging incl. Postgraduate School Bioengineering and Imaging
    Funding Period: 2008 to 2013
  • BMBF Project: Insect-derived anti-Infectives from Indonesia (Triple-In) Funding period: 2015 to 2018
  • Six Junior Research Groups within the DFG Emmy Noether Programme, the Fraunhofer Attract Programme, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Volkswagen Foundation 
  • Numerous industrial projects


Research Infrastructure

Research building for the Fraunhofer Institute for Bioresources (currently being established)

Research Environment

Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology
(cooperation with the Campus Research Focus)