Genetics Experts

Dr. Otto Geiger

Interactions between Pro- and Eukaryotes Group
Center for Genomic Sciences


Otto Geiger studied biology at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany and after investigating "Quinoproteins and their prosthetic group pyrroloquinoline quinone" at the Institute of Microbiology, he received his doctoral title "summa cum laude" from the same institution in 1987. As a Feodor-Lynen Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, he did postdoctoral work in the United States at Harvard Medical School with Eugene P. Kennedy on the "Biosynthesis and function of periplasmic glucans in Gram-negative bacteria". Subsequently, together with Ben Lugtenberg and Herman Spaink, he investigated the "Biosynthesis of lipo-chitin oligosaccharide signals that cause nodule formation on legume host plants" at the Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences, Leiden University in the Netherlands . From 1993 to 1999 he was a Research Group Leader in the Department of Biotechnology at the Technical University of Berlin, where he habilitated for Biochemistry in 1997. He currently holds the position of Professor (Investigador Titular B) at the Center for Genomic Sciences (formerly the Research Center for Nitrogen Fixation ) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Cuernavaca) which he joined in 1999. Geiger's group discovered the phosphatidylcholine synthase pathway which constitutes a major route for phosphatidylcholine formation in bacteria as well as the biosynthesis pathway for ornithine-containing lipids which are widespread bioactive lipids encountered in eubacterial membranes. Presently, Otto Geiger is responsible for the Ph.D. program of the Center, functions as Senior Editor for the Journal Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, and is an International Research Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Research Interest



  • Sohlenkamp, C. and Geiger, O. (2016). "Bacterial Membrane Lipids: Diversity in Structures and Pathways". FEMS Microbiol Rev. 40(1):133-159

  • Sahonero-Canavesi, D.X., Zavaleta-Pastor, M., Martínez-Aguilar, L., López-Lara, I.M. and Geiger, O. (2016). "Defining Substrate Specificities for Lipase and Phospholipase Candidates". Journal of Visualized Experiments. (117)

  • Vences-Guzmán, M.Á., Goetting-Minesky, M.P., Guan, Z.Q., Castillo-Ramírez, S., Cordoba-Castro, L.A., López-Lara, I.M., Geiger, O., Sohlenkamp, C. and Fenno, J.C. (2017). "1,2-Diacylglycerol Choline Phosphotransferase Catalyzes the Final Step In the Unique Treponema denticola Phosphatidylcholine Biosynthesis Pathway". Mol Microbiol. 103(5):896-912

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