TUM – Technical University of Munich Menü

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Liebl



Academic Career and Research Areas

Prof. Liebl (b. 1959) investigates various aspects of applied microbiology, with particular interest in the enzymology of polysaccharide degradation as well as the analysis of the genomes and metagenomes of micro-organisms that have adapted to extreme conditions (especially extreme temperatures and pH values). In other research projects, he explores physiology and gene regulation in biotechnologically relevant bacteria like different Bacillus species, Gluconobacter oxydans, and solventogenic Clostridia, and furthermore the biosynthesis of hydrocarbons and natural gene transfer in high-GC Gram-positive bacteria like Micrococcus luteus.

Prof. Liebl studied biology (majoring in microbiology) at TUM and received his doctorate in 1986. A German Research Foundation (DFG) grant enabled him to work at MIT in the group of Prof. A.J. Sinskey (1986-87). After completing his postdoctoral teaching qualification at TUM (1997), he was professor of Genomic and Applied Microbiology at the University of Göttingen until 2008. While in Göttingen, he also served as Dean of the Faculty of Biology (2002-03) and as a member of the Senate (2007-08). He declined an offer for full professorship at TU Graz (2003). Since 2008, he has been full professor of microbiology at TUM.

Key Publications

Surger MJ, Angelov A, Stier P, Uebelacker M, Liebl W: "Impact of branched-chain amino acid catabolism on fatty acid and alkene biosynthesis in Micrococcus luteus". Frontiers in Microbiology. 2018; 9: 374. 


Leis B, Angelov A, Mientus M, Li H, Pham VTT, Lauinger B, Bongen P, Pietruszka J, Gonçalves LG, Santos H, Liebl W: "Identification of novel esterase-active enzymes from hot environments by use of the host bacterium Thermus thermophilus". Frontiers in Microbiology. 2015; 6: 275. 


Liebl W, Angelov A, Juergensen J, Chow J, Loeschcke A, Drepper T, Classen T, Pietruszka J, Ehrenreich A, Streit WR, Jaeger KE: "Alternative hosts for functional metagenome analysis". Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 2014; 98: 8099-8109. 


Grimmler C, Janssen H, Krausse D, Fischer RJ, Bahl H, Dürre P, Liebl W, Ehrenreich A: "Genome-wide gene expression analysis of the switch between acidogenesis and solventogenesis in continuous cultures of Clostridium acetobutylicum". Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology. 2011; 20: 1-15. 


Köpke M, Held C, Hujer S, Liesegang H, Wiezer A, Wollherr A, Ehrenreich A, Liebl W, Gottschalk G, Dürre P: "Clostridium ljungdahlii represents a microbial production platform based on syngas". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 2010; 107: 13087-13092.