Microbes can be found all-over the planet as parts of very different ecosystems and organismic communities. The role of microbes in our - the human - system as disease agents, as well as in natural ecosystems is being investigated in this focal research area.
Organismic communities are structured by the constant exchange of chemical signals. These chemical mediators are produced and emitted by one of the interaction partners and perceived and processed by another, where they trigger a respective reaction. With this, chemical signals regulate the species composition as well as the interaction between individual organisms from one or more species.
Until now, the knowledge of chemical mediators has been predominantly limited to bilateral interactions. Insights into the regulation of multi-partner interactions are urgently needed in order to understand the organization of complex biological systems.