LOEWE Center for
Insect Biotechnology
& Bioresources

Thomas Degenkolb

PD Dr. habil.

Group leader

Phone: +49 641 99-37651

Email: thomas.degenkolb@ernaehrung.uni-giessen.de

Room: B029

Building: IFZ


05/2013 ERASMUS guest lecturer at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Iaşi (Romania)
08–09/2011 Department of Systems Biology, Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Project work on the formation of peptide antibiotics by Hypocrea/Trichoderma under in vivo conditions. Guest lecturer in the practical course: Analytical Microbial Natural Product Chemistry for PhD students
20.07.2011 Venia legendi for Bioanalytics and Applied Microbiology. Appointed as lecturer (German ‘Privatdozent’) at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Nutritional Sciences and Environmental Management of Justus Liebig University, Gießen
15.06.2011 DSc (German Habilitation), Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Nutritional Sciences, and Environmental Management of Justus Liebig University, Gießen. DSc thesis: Isolation and structural elucidation of bioactive peptidic and low-molecular-weight natural products by LC/ESI-MS and GC/MS. Habilitation colloquium: Mycotoxins – relevance and bioanalytic aspects
Since 04/2008 Postdoctoral fellow, Interdisciplinary Research Centre for BioSystems, Land Use and Nutrition (IFZ), Department of Applied Entomology (Prof Dr Andreas Vilcinskas), Institute of Phytopathology and Applied Zoology (IPAZ) of Justus Liebig University, Gießen – Teaching BSc and MSc courses in agricultural sciences, nutritional sciences and environmental management. Modules taught: BP 96: “Storage Protection and Food Safety”; MKP 63: “Chemical and Biological Plant Protection”. Supervision of BSc and MSc theses in ecotrophology, agricultural sciences and environmental management. Head of the Laboratory of Chemical Ecology, Mass Spectrometry and Bioanalytics
05/2007–07/2009 Projects supported by a DSc grant (Habilitationsstipendium) from the Erwin Stein Foundation, Gießen
03/2005–03/2008 Postdoctoral fellow, Interdisciplinary Research Centre for BioSystems, Land Use and Nutrition (IFZ), Department of Food Sciences (Prof Dr Hans Brückner), Institute of Nutritional Science of Justus Liebig University, Gießen. Sequencing and structural elucidation of polypeptide antibiotics (peptaibiotics) from Trichoderma/Hypocrea spp. by LC-ion-trap-ESI-MSn. Project supported by a grant from the Studienstiftung Mykologie, Cologne
06/2003–12/2003 Postdoctoral fellow, Centre for Biotechnology and Biomedicine (BBZ), Faculty of Chemistry and Mineralogy, Leipzig University, Leipzig (Germany): Analysis of proteinogenic and posttranslationally modified amino acids (hydroxy- and phosphoamino acids) by LC-ESI-MS/MS, using pre-column derivatization
06/2000–05/2003 Postdoctoral fellow, Leibniz-Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB), Halle/Saale (Germany): Analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana secondary metabolites by LC-ESI-QqTOF-MS/MS and GC/EI-MS
04/1997–05/2000 PhD student supervised by Prof Dr Udo Gräfe, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology e.V. – Hans-Knöll-Institute (HKI), Jena. PhD thesis: Co-fermentation of heterologous microorganisms as a source of novel natural products, supported by a PhD grant from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, Bonn. PhD: magna cum laude (11/2000)
02/1997–03/1997 Practical course Introduction to Systematic Mycology, Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures (CBS) in Baarn (Netherlands)
01/1997 Diploma thesis: Kinetics of antibiotic production by Bacillus licheniformis strain S 92, Diploma with First Class Honours
10/1991–01/1997 Undergraduate in Biology, Faculty of Biology and Pharmacy, Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena; from 01/1995 – 06/1995 ERASMUS student at the School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Manchester (United Kingdom)

Research Interests

LC/MS-based screening for bioactive metabolites from invertebrates (insects and other arthropods) and invertebrate-associated microorganisms, using approaches such as HPLC/QTOF-ESI-HR-MS and HPLC/ion-trap-MS. Chemical and structural characterization of bioactive metabolites by mass spectrometry. The identification and characterization of bioactive metabolites from nematophagous, insecticidal and fungicolous fungi, and non-ribosomal peptide antibiotics(peptaibiotics) from fungi.

Short description:

LC/MS-based screening for bioactive metabolites from invertebrates and microorganisms. Isolation and structural characterization of natural products and their derivatives.


DE19943460 (A1) ― 2001-03-15
New fermentatively produced lipopeptide mixture useful for control of bacterial and fungal infections in medicine and plant protection and as antitumor agent.


Brückner H, Fox S, Degenkolb T (2019) Sequences of acretocins, peptaibiotics containing the rare 1-aminocyclopropanecarboxylic acid, from Acremonium crotocinigenum CBS 217.70. Chemistry and Biodiversity, DOI 10.1002/cbdv.201900276
Heise P, Liu Y, Degenkolb T, Vogel H, Schäberle TF, Vilcinskas A (2019) Antibiotic-Producing Beneficial Bacteria in the Gut of the Burying Beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10: 1178
Schetelig MF, Lee KZ, Otto S, Talmann L, Stökl J, Degenkolb T, Vilcinskas A, Halitschke R (2018) Environmentally sustainable pest control options for Drosophila suzukii. Journal of Applied Entomology, 142 (1-2) , 3-17.
Berger A, Degenkolb T, Vilcinskas A, Schöller M (2017) Evaluating the combination of a parasitoid and a predator for biological control of seed beetles (Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae) in stored beans. Journal of Stored Product Research, 74 , 22-26.
Degenkolb T, Götze L, von Döhren H, Vilcinskas A, Brückner H (2016) Sequences of stilboflavin C: Towards the peptaibiome of the filamentous fungus Stilbella (= Trichoderma) flavipes. Journal of Peptide Science, 22 , 517-524.
Degenkolb T, Vilcinskas A (2016) Metabolites from nematophagous fungi and nematicidal natural products from fungi as an alternative for biological control. Part I: metabolites from nematophagous ascomycetes. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 100 (9) , 3799–3812.
Degenkolb T, Vilcinskas A (2016) Metabolites from nematophagous fungi and nematicidal natural products from fungi as alternatives for biological control. Part II: metabolites from nematophagous basidiomycetes and non-nematophagous fungi. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 100 (9) , 3813–3824.
Chaverri P, Branco-Rocha F, Jaklitsch WM, Gazis RO, Degenkolb T, Samuels GJ (2015) Systematics of the Trichoderma harzianum species complex and the reidentification of commercial biocontrol strains. Mycologia, 107 (3) , 558–590.
Degenkolb T, Nielsen KF, Dieckmann R, Branco-Rocha F, Chaverri P, Samuels GJ, Thrane U, von Döhren H, Vilcinskas A, Brückner H (2015) Peptaibol, secondary metabolite, and hydrophobin pattern of commercial biocontrol agents formulated with species of the Trichoderma harzianum complex. Chemistry and Biodiversity, 12 (4) , 662–684.
Neumann NKN, Stoppacher N, Zeilinger S, Degenkolb T, Brückner H, Schuhmacher R (2015) The Peptaibiotics Database - A Comprehensive Online Resource. Chemistry and Biodiversity, 12 (5) , 743–751.
Degenkolb T, Schöller M, Vilcinskas A (2014) Beeinträchtigung von Vorräten und Lebensmitteln durch tierische Schädlinge sowie pilzliche und bakterielle Erreger. Teil 2: Pilzliche und bakterielle Kontaminanten. ErnährungsUmschau, 61 (5) , S17–S22.
Röhrich CR, Jaklitsch WM, Voglmayr H, Iversen A, Vilcinskas A, Nielsen KF, Thrane U, von Döhren H, Brückner H, Degenkolb T (2014) Front line defenders of the ecological niche! Screening the structural diversity of peptaibiotics from saprotrophic and fungicolous Trichoderma/Hypocrea species. Fungal Diversity, 69 (1) , 117–146.
Schöller M, Degenkolb T, Vilcinskas A (2014) Beeinträchtigung von Vorräten und Lebensmitteln durch tierische Schädlinge sowie pilzliche und bakterielle Erreger. Teil 1: Tierische Schädlinge. ErnährungsUmschau, 61 (3) , S9–S12.
Röhrich CR, Iversen A, Jaklitsch WM, Voglmayr H, Vilcinskas A, Nielsen KF, Thrane U, von Döhren H, Brückner H, Degenkolb T (2013) Screening the biosphere: the fungicolous fungus Trichoderma phellinicola, a prolific source of hypophellins, new 17-, 18-, 19-, and 20-residue peptaibiotics. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 10 (5) , 787–812.
Röhrich CR, Vilcinskas A, Brückner H, Degenkolb T (2013) The Sequences of the Eleven-Residue Peptaibiotics Suzukacillins B. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 10 (5) , 827–837.
Stoppacher N, Neumann NK, Burgstaller L, Zeilinger S, Degenkolb T, Brückner H, Schuhmacher R (2013) The Comprehensive Peptaibiotics Database. Chemistry & Biodiversity 10, , 734-743.
Zarkani AA, Stein E, Röhrich CR, Schikora M, Evguenieva-Hackenberg E, Degenkolb T, Vilcinskas A, Klug G, Kogel KH, Schikora A (2013) Homoserine lactones influence the reaction of plants to rhizobia International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 14 (8) , 17122–17146.
Degenkolb T, Karimi Aghcheh R, Dieckmann R, Neuhof T, Baker SE, Druzhinina IS, Kubicek CP, Brückner H, von Döhren H (2012) The production of multiple small peptaibol families by single 14-module peptide synthetases in Trichoderma/Hypocrea. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 9 (3) , 499-535.
Röhrich CR, Iversen A, Jaklitsch WM, Voglmayr H, Berg A, Dörfelt H, Thrane U, Vilcinskas A, Nielsen KF, von Döhren H, Brückner H, Degenkolb T (2012) Hypopulvins, novel peptaibiotics from the polyporicolous fungus Hypocrea pulvinata, are produced during infection of its natural hosts. Fungal Biology, 116 (2) , 1219-1231.
Röhrich CR, Ngwa CJ, Wiesner J, Schmidtberg H, Degenkolb T, Kollewe C, Fischer R, Pradel G, Vilcinskas A (2012) Harmonine, a defence compound from the harlequin ladybird, inhibits mycobacterial growth and demonstrates multi-stage antimalarial activity. Biology Letters, 8 (2) , 308–311.
Degenkolb T, Düring RA, Vilcinskas A (2011) Secondary metabolites released by the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides: chemical analyses and possible ecological functions. Journal of Chemical Ecology 37(7), , 724-735.
Brückner H, Becker D, Gams W, Degenkolb T (2009) Aib and Iva in the biosphere: neither rare nor necessarily extraterrestrial. Chemistry & Biodiversity 6, , 38-56.
Degenkolb T, Brückner H (2008) Peptaibiomics: towards a myriad of bioactive peptides containing Cα-dialkylamino acids? Chemistry & Biodiversity 5, , 1817–1843.
Degenkolb T, Dieckmann R, Nielsen KF, Gräfenhan T, Theis C, Zafari D, Chaverri P, Ismaiel A, Brückner H, von Döhren H, Thrane U, Petrini O, Samuels GJ (2008) The Trichoderma brevicompactum clade: a separate lineage with new species, new peptaibiotics, and mycotoxins. Mycological Progress 7, , 177-219.
Degenkolb T, Gams W, Brückner, H (2008) Natural cyclopeptaibiotics and related cyclic tetrapeptides: structural diversity and future prospects. Chemistry & Biodiversity 5, , 693–706.
Degenkolb T, von Döhren H, Nielsen KF, Samuels GJ, Brückner H (2008) Recent advances and future prospects in peptaibiotics, hydrophobin, and mycotoxin research, and their importance for chemotaxonomy of Trichoderma and Hypocrea. Chemistry & Biodiversity 5, , 671-680.
Theis C, Degenkolb T, Brückner H (2008) Studies on the trifluoroacetolytic scission of native peptaibols and model peptides using HPLC and ESI-CID-MS. Chemistry & Biodiversity 5, , 2337-2355.
Degenkolb T, Kirschbaum J, Brückner H (2007) New sequences, constituents, and producers of peptaibiotics: an updated review Chemistry & Biodiversity, 4 (6) , 1052-–1067.
Degenkolb T, Gräfenhan T, Berg A, Nirenberg HI, Gams W, Brückner H (2006) Peptaibiomics: Screening for polypeptide antibiotics (peptaibiotics) from plant-protective Trichoderma species Chemistry & Biodiversity, 3 (6) , 593-610.
Degenkolb T, Gräfenhan T, Nirenberg HI, Gams W, Brückner H (2006) Trichoderma brevicompactum complex: rich source of novel and recurrent plant-protective polypeptide antibiotics (peptaibiotics) Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 54 (19) , 7047-7061.
Psurek A, Neusüß C, Degenkolb T, Brückner H, Balaguer E, Imhof D, Scriba GKE (2006) Detection of new amino acid sequences of alamethicins F30 by nonaqueous capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry Journal of Peptide Science, 12 (4) , 279-290.
von Roepenack-Lahaye E, Degenkolb T, Zerjeski M, Franz M, Roth U, Wessjohann L, Schmidt J, Scheel D, Clemens S (2004) Profiling of Arabidopsis secondary metabolites by capillary liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry Plant Physiology, 134 (2) , 548-559.
Berg A, Grigoriev PA, Degenkolb T, Neuhof T, Härtl A, Schlegel B, Gräfe U (2003) Isolation, structure elucidation and biological activities of trichofumins A, B, C and D, new 11 and 13mer peptaibols from Trichoderma sp. HKI 0276 Journal of Peptide Science, 9 (11-12) , 810-816.
Degenkolb T, Berg A, Gams W, Schlegel B, Gräfe U (2003) The occurrence of peptaibols and structurally related peptaibiotics in fungi and their mass spectrometric identification via diagnostic fragment ions Journal of Peptide Science, 9 (11-12) , 666-678.
Degenkolb T, Heinze S, Schlegel B, Strobel G, Gräfe U (2002) Formation of new lipoaminopeptides, acremostatins, A, B, and C, by co-cultivation of Acremonium sp. Tbp-5 and Mycogone rosea DSM 12973 Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, 66 (4) , 883-886.
Landtag J, Baumert A, Degenkolb T, Schmidt J, Wray V, Scheel D, Strack D, Rosahl S (2002) Accumulation of tyrosol glucoside in transgenic potato plants expressing a functional parsley tyrosine decarboxylase Phytochemistry, 60 (7) , 683-689.
Clemens S, Schroeder JI, Degenkolb T (2001) Caenorhabditis elegans expresses a functional phytochelatin synthase European Journal of Biochemistry, 268 (13) , 1-5.
Schliemann W, Cai Y, Degenkolb T, Schmidt J, Corke H (2001) Betalains of Celosia argentea Phytochemistry, 58 (1) , 159-165.
Degenkolb T, Heinze S, Schlegel B, Dornberger K, Möllmann U, Dahse H-M, Gräfe U (2000) Roseoferin - a new aminolipopeptide antibiotic complex from Mycogone rosea DSM 12973, structures and biological activities The Journal of Antibiotics, 53 (2) , 184-190.
Haas DU, Reinthaler FF, Wüst G, Skofitsch G, Degenkolb T, Marth E (1999) Emission von Schimmelpilzen und xerophilen Pilzen im Bereich von Kompostieranlagen Gefahrstoffe - Reinhaltung der Luft, 59 , 115-121.
Haas DU, Reinthaler FF, Wüst G, Skofitsch G, Degenkolb T, Marth E (1999) Keimemissionen im Bereich von Restmüll- und Altstoffsammelbehältern Mitteilungen der Sanitaetsverwaltung , 100 (5) , 8-14.
Haas DU, Reinthaler FF, Wüst G, Skofitsch G, Groth I, Degenkolb T, Schumann P, Marth E (1999) Emission of thermophilic actinomycetes in composting facilities, their immediate surroundings and in an urban area Central European Journal of Public Health, 7 (2) , 94-99.