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.


February 2021

Frank Braun defends his PhD thesis about second messengers in Haloferax volcanii

December 2020

Closed this year with an online Christmas party and pub quizz !

October 2020

As numbers were going down, more people were allowed back into the lab. Work discussions still held online only.

July 2020

Getting used to the online format: Phillip Nußbaum defends succesfully his PhD thesis !

May/June 2020

Two new Postdocs, Solenne Ithurbide and Alejandra Recalde, started in the lab. We wish them all the best !

May 2020

First online PhD defense with Zhengqun Li! Congrats !

May/June 2020

People were allowed back into the lab in shifts, from this point on, wearing masks was (is) mandatory.

March 2020

Due to the rise of the Corona virus, the lab closed down for three month and we only held online meetings.

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: