We are interested in understanding the biogenesis of the archaeal cell envelope including processes like N-glycosylation, the assembly of macromolecular structures like pili and the archaellum, and regulatory processes depending on protein phosphorylation. We study these processes in two model archaea: the thermoacidophilic crenarchaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius and the extremely halophilic euryarchaeon Haloferax volcanii.


We use genetic approaches to identify systems in Sulfolobus and Haloferax that are involved in the assembly of cell surface appendages and biochemically characterize the subunits and their interplay in the assembly process.


Our group is located at the Institute of Biology at the University of Freiburg in Southern Germany.


January 2020

Our paper on the structure and function of FlaF and FlaG in archaellum assembly and function was published in Nature Microbiology.

July 2019

We received two grants from the Volkswagen-Foundation: the "Momentum" grant to work on cell division in archaea and the Life? consortium to work on the evolution of vesicle trafficking from archaea to eukaryotes.

June 2019

Sonja Albers was elected as an EMBO member. See press release here.

March 2019

We showed the existence of c-di-AMP and discuss its possible function in Haloferax volcanii in Franks's article.

January 2019

We congratulate Tessa Quax, who got an Emmy-Noether-Fellowship to start her own lab on halophilic viruses of archaea! See her lab webpage here.

November 2018

Our review on mechanisms of archaeal biofilm formation was published in Nature Reviews Microbiology

January 2018

Our first "Halo" paper is out: Structure and function of the archaeal response regulator CheY in PNAS.

November 2017

Archaea turned 40! Nature Microbiology and Nature Reviews MIcrobiology celebrate C. Woese and G. Fox seminal article in PNAS 1977:




At March 27-29th 2017 an international symposium will be organized by the Collaborative Research Centre 746 about "Coupling and Modification of Proteins. Information can be found here.


Kira Marakova's analysis of archaeal type IV pili is online at Frontiers in Microbiology.



Our DNA transport paper was mentioned in the current issue of Nature Reviews Microbiology in the briefs.



Our paper about the crenarchaeal DNA import system Ced is online in PNAS!



Our FlaH paper made the cover of Molecular Microbiology!






Older news can be found under the tab"Old news"





We gratefully acknowledge funding by: