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Projects at the centre for microbiology


Bacteriophages are viruses that can specifically disable certain individual bacterial species. Selected phage isolates are classified as “generally recognised as safe” and may be used as additives in some foods. Our projects focus on the isolation and characterization of new bacteriophages that can be used to detect and control bacterial contamination in foods.

Contact: Lars Fieseler

Mechanisms of phage resistance

This project, sponsored by the Swiss National Fund and undertaken in collaboration with the ETH Zurich and the Agroscope, focuses on how Erwinia amylovora develop resistance to bacteriophages.

KontaktpersonLars Fieseler, Yannick Born 

Molecular biological characterisation of Bacillus spp. that cause rope spoilage of baked products

“Rope” is a form of spoilage that can occur in baked goods made ​​from wheat flour due to contamination by Bacillus spp. The factors that affect the formation of rope in bread, and specifically the enzymes that are responsible, are currently being investigated. 

ContactsLars FieselerCorinne Gantenbein-Demarchi 

Development of a protective culture against rope-causing Bacillus spp. und bread spoilage moulds

Rope-causing Bacillus spp. and moulds are among the most common microorganisms that cause spoilage in bread. New protective cultures with properties which inhibit the two microorganisms primarily responsible for spoilage in bread and baked goods are under development.

Contact: Susanne Miescher Schwenninger, Corinne Gantenbein-Demarchi 

Development of an antifungal protective culture for cocoa bean fermentation

The first stage in the production of the raw material used in the manufacture of prestigious Swiss chocolate is the fermentation of the cocoa beans, a natural, spontaneous process that occurs in the equatorial regions where the beans are grown. The growth of undesirable moulds and potential contamination with mycotoxins typically results in unacceptable material loss. Antifungal protective cultures designed to counteract this contamination during the cocoa bean fermentation are being developed. This project is funded by the CTI (CTI project no. 15813.1 PFLS-LS).

Contacts: Susanne Miescher Schwenninger 

Development of protective cultures with anti-Listeria properties for meat and fish products

The focus of project, funded by Swiss Food Research, is the lactic acid bacteria from fermented meat and fish products, which have pronounced inhibitory effects on Listeria species, including the serovar of Listeria monocytes, which is a particularly relevant in terms of food safety.

Contact: Susanne Miescher Schwenninger, Corinne Gantenbein-Demarchi

Beta-glucan development by lactic acid bacteria

This study investigates the ability of certain lactic acid bacteria, including those from cereal / baking habitats, to produce beta-glucan.

Contact: Susanne Miescher Schwenninger

Microbial and somatic cell monitoring of raw milk by impedance flow cytometry

A flow cytometry meter is being developed for use in the quality control of raw milk in collaboration with Amphasys AG (Root Längenbold, LU) and the EPL (Lausanne), This project is funded by the CTI (CTI project no. 15601.1 PFNM-NM. )

ContactLars Fieseler

Microorganisms in drinking water

Molecular biological processes are being developed to detect microorganisms in drinking water. The cantonal laboratories of Zurich and St. Gallen are project partners.

ContactsLars Fieseler, Corinne Gantenbein-Demarchi