Olfactory Genes

The composition of odor bouquets contains important cues to the composition of the environment. Therefore, the potentially large number of different volatiles encountered by animals has to be encoded in action potentials in the nervous system to facilitate the analysis of its chemical composition. This function is provided by proteins involved in olfactory signal transduction. The genes encoding these proteins are amongst the most rapidly evolving genes known so far, indicating the extraordinarily rapid adaptation of the sense to changing life styles. This rapid adaptation is one of our main interests, as well as the origin of the different gene families involved. In our work, we focus on several species not commonly used as model organisms of molecular biology, but of profound interest in the context of evolutionary ecology. Beside the standard molecular biology techniques, we employ next generation sequencing and gene expression analysis as well as heterologous expression systems in our work.



Project Leader

  Dr. Ewald Grosse-Wilde
Phone: +49 (0)3641 57 1408


  Dr. Michael Thoma
Phone: +49 (0)3641 57 1452


  Richard Fandino
Phone: +49 (0)3641 57 1444

Technical Assistants

  Sascha Bucks
Phone: +49 (0)3641 57 1470

PhD students

  Christian Klinner
Phone: +49 (0)3641 57 1413
  Sarah Körte
Phone: +49 (0)3641 57 1456
  Liwei Zhang
Phone: +49 (0)3641 57 1412


Bianca Eßwein
Phone: +49 (0)3641 57 1428
Priscilla Gehrke
Tu Anh Nguyen Thi