BioEcoAgro Joint Cross-Border Research Unit
Team 4

Team 4

Secondary metabolites of microbial origin

Valérie Leclere, ICV, and Marc Ongena, University of Liège, Team 4 leaders

Valérie Leclere, ICV, and Marc Ongena, University of Liège, Team 4 leaders

Microorganisms produce secondary metabolites, in particular synthesized by modular mega-enzymes such as NRPS (Nonribosomal peptide synthetases). This mode of synthesis along assembly lines generates metabolites whose structures confer properties and biological activities of interest. 

These activities can in particular find applications in different sectors such as health (antibiotics, antitumor, anti-inflammatory drugs, etc.), oil spill dispersion, detergency or even biocontrol for which the development of new products is an emergency.


In addition to the search for new biosurfactants and secondary metabolites of medical interest, one of the team's major objectives is to implement the use of biosourced molecules, mainly secondary metabolites of microbial origin, as an alternative to chemical inputs for crop protection.


The project has two main components. The first is the search for new molecules via innovative screening strategies combining the exploitation of new bioinformatic tools, structural analysis and the characterization of functional properties and biological activities. The second axis is the study of the production of these molecules of interest, in particular with regard to the influence of biotic and abiotic factors and the impact of the heterogeneity of microbial systems.

illustration team4

Modification date: 17 April 2024 | Publication date: 28 January 2020 | By: Com'INRAE HdF