Andreas Brune

Andreas Brune

Prof. Dr. Andreas Brune

Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
RG Insect Gut Microbiology and Symbiosis
Karl-von-Frisch-Straße 10, 35043 Marburg
+49-6421 178 701


Research Area

Termite guts are tiny microbial bioreactors that convert lignocellulose to fermentation products, which in turn fuel the metabolism of the host. The Brune lab studies the role of the termite gut microbiota in the symbiotic digestion of wood, focusing on the biology of the prokaryotic and eukaryotic symbionts and their interactions, the structure and functions of the intestinal ecosystem and the evolution of its microbiota. Other aspects are the microbial processes in the guts of humivorous soil macrofauna, such as soil-feeding termites and scarab beetle larvae.


microbial diversity
microbial ecology
comparative genomics
symbiotic digestion
microbe-host interactions
physiology of anaerobic bacteria and archaea
anaerobic flagellates

Recent Publications

1. Hervé, V., Liu, P., Dietrich, C., Sillam-Dussès, D., Stiblik, P., Šobotník, J., Brune, A. (2020) Phylogenomic analysis of 589 metagenome-assembled genomes encompassing all major prokaryotic lineages from the gut of higher termites. PeerJ 8: e8614.

2. Radek, R., Meuser, K., Altinay, S., Lo, N., Brune, A. (2019) Novel lineages of oxymonad flagellates from the termite Porotermes adamsoni (Stolotermitidae): the genera Oxynympha and Termitimonas. Protist 170: 125683.

3. Tokuda, G., Mikaelyan, A., Fukuia, C., Matsuura, Y., Watanabe, H., Fujishima, M., Brune, A. (2018) Fiber-associated spirochetes are major agents of hemicellulose degradation in the hindgut of wood-feeding higher termites. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 115: E11996–E12004.

SYNMIKRO Young Researchers Groups

Almost all scientific members of SYNMIKRO are actively involved in DFG’s Collaborative Research Centers (Sonderforschungsbereiche), Research Training Groups (Graduiertenkollegs), or other Cooperative Research projects. Alongside performing adventurous experiments, and reporting excellent science, SYNMIKRO substantially promotes potential Young Research Group Leaders by constantly keeping its doors open to welcome and support Young Researchers planning to set up an Independent Research Group.
Our Young Research Groups