Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Dr. Daniel Lammel: Modelling proteins on soil surfaces

Nov 21, 2023 | 02:00 PM c.t.

Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, Institute of Biology, Ecology of Plants, Berlin

Soils are essential for life on Earth, providing support for plants and a diverse range of organisms, and they are also a daily part of our lives, under our feet and cities. Soils are crucial for mitigating the impacts of global change by storing carbon and nutrients, cleaning pollutants and regulating water dynamics. Composed of weathered minerals, organic matter, air, and water, soils have unique compositions that intricately shape their structure, thus affecting the dynamics of air and water within them.

For example, soils with good structure facilitate water infiltration and are more resistant to erosion, protecting the organisms that live in them, while hydrophobic soils can contribute to floods, affecting ecosystems and human life. Our lab has screened for soil organisms and organic compounds, including proteins, which can interact with soil minerals and affect soil properties and structure. The most active mineral compounds in soil are the clays, colloids with charges and a large surface area. We found many protein candidates to interact with soil particles and clays; however, it is experimentally challenging to express and test many protein candidates simultaneously. Andersen et al. (2016) proposed that modeling proteins and clays is a way forward in the screening process and also to elucidate molecular mechanisms of the interactions. Molecular dynamics modeling includes simulation using COLVARS and LAMMPS.

We propose a collaborative effort between our research groups and Prof. Netzt's lab to model proteins on soil surfaces. Such collaboration holds great potential in screening proteins with a significant impact on soil quality and environmental functioning, as well as in better elucidating the molecular mechanisms of protein-soil mineral interactions.

Time & Location

Nov 21, 2023 | 02:00 PM c.t.

Seminar room T1 (1.3.21)
Department of Physics
Arnimallee 14
14195 Berlin


  • bioinformatics
  • clays
  • Daniel Lammel
  • ecosystems
  • molecular biology
  • molecular mechanism
  • protein surface interactions
  • protein-soil mineral interactions
  • screening proteins
  • soil colloids
  • soil organisms
  • soils