BIMM (BIoactive Microbial Metabolites)

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU)

Tulln | Website

Core facility (CF)

Short Description

The aim of the research platform bimm is the isolation and characterization of bioactive substances and enzymes. These can be derived from bacteria, fungi, algae and other organisms. The resulting metabolites affect different molecular targets, e.g. antibiotic, antifungal, pharmacologically or enzymatically. This research platform makes it possible to find new bioactive substances and enzymes and to characterize their mode of action. These newly found substances could be used as antibiotics, medicines, biocatalysts or as pesticides. An additional goal of the platform is the training of scientific personnel and to serve as a service partner for projects from industry and academic research institutions.

Contact Person

Scot Wallace

Research Services

Services offered
● Cultivation under a variety of chemical (e.g. epigenetic modifiers) and environmental conditions
● Extraction and separation of BiMMs
● High throughput bioactivity screens against variety of targets (e.g. antibiotic resistance, antifungals, etc)
Isolation and characterization of compounds: service
Isolation and characterization of compounds: service offered

Techniques available (equipment only be operated by BiMM personnel)
● Preparative High Performance Liquid Chromatography (prepHPLC)
● Analytical High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
● Liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS; LTQ Orbitrap XL)

Additional staff if necessary (e.g. preparation of stocks…) and consumables must be provided by project partners.

Possible project applications (examples):

● High content combinatorials for microbe interactions
● HTP screening for antibiotics, antifungals, therapeutics
● Reporter systems development for target screenings
● Targeted and untargeted screening of secondary metabolites
● Tracer analysis to study metabolic processes
● Isolation and purification of bioactive metabolites
● Enzyme screenings

Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure

Robotic system I is able to realize complex pipetting patterns using 8 individual channels and is able to perform automated transports within the system.​

The robotic system II is able to realize simple pipetting patterns using 96 coupled channels, read barcodes and perform automated transports.

The pinning tool is able to transfer patterns of surface colonies onto solid or liquid target plates. This broadens the applicability of the pipetting robot from liquid to solid systems.

The robotic system III is designed to periodically perform automated measurements of growth curves, fluorescence or luminescence.

The components of a sample are separated in the column of an HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography)-system. Subsequently, those components are visualized by detectors (e.g. UV and CAD) and collected in fractions with the fraction collector. The purified substances will be provided for further experiments.​

The components of a sample are separated in the column of an HPLC prior to injection into a high resolution mass spectrometer. All components are ionized (i.e. they obtain a positive or negative charge), and subsequently separated according to their mass to charge (m/z) ratio. The analysis allows to draw conclusions on the composition of the molecule under investigation. ​

During data evaluation, only compounds of biological origin shall be considered. To this end, all metabolites are labeled with 13C isotopes during cultivation. The resulting “artificial” isotope patterns can be detected in a mass spectrometer, while signals of contaminants are rejected.

One of the targets of the BiMM platform is the development of novel and innovative reporter systems and biochemical assays which allow the detection of bioactivities as well as the adaption of existing reporter assays for high throughput applications.​

The easy pick application is able to sort microbial or plant cell libraries due to morphology or colour. Selected clones are automatically transferred into culture media.


Please contact us
Land Niederoesterreich
Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW)