Otto Geiger

Ecological Genomics Researcher

Full Professor

Academic history

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. Otto Geiger was an International Research Scholar (2002-2006) of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He currently holds the position of Professor (Investigador Titular C) 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 (lecithin) formation in bacteria as well as the biosynthesis pathway for ornithine-containing lipids, which are widespread bioactive lipids encountered in bacterial membranes. More recently, he discovered molecular mechanisms for lipid remodeling of bacterial membranes in response to different types of stress. Presently, he studies the molecular functions of phosphatidylcholine in bacteria as well as the biosynthesis, transport, and function of sphingolipids in bacteria. He functions as an Editor for the Journal BMC Microbiology and for the Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology.



Telephone: (777) 3131697


2018López-Lara, I.M., Nogales, J., Pech-Canul, Á., Calatrava-Morales, N., Bernabéu-Roda, L.M., Durán, P., Cuéllar, V., Olivares, J., Alvarez, L., Palenzuela-Bretones, D., Romero, M., Heeb, S., Cámara, M., Geiger, O., Soto, M.J. (2018) 2-Tridecanone impacts surface-associated bacterial behaviours and hinders plant–bacteria interactions Environmental Microbiology 20(6):2049-2065 [doi:10.1111/1462-2920.14083]29488306
2017López-Lara, I.M., Geiger, O. (2017) Bacterial lipid diversity Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-Molecular And Cell Biology Of Lipids 1862(11):1287-1299 [doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2016.10.007]27760387
2017Angel Vences-Guzman, Miguel, Goetting-Minesky, M. Paula, Guan, Ziqiang, Castillo-Ramirez, Santiago, America Cordoba-Castro, Luz, Lopez-Lara, Isabel M., Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian, Fenno, J. Christopher (2017) 1,2-Diacylglycerol choline phosphotransferase catalyzes the final step in the unique Treponema denticola phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis pathway Molecular Microbiology 103(5):896-912 [doi:10.1111/mmi.13596]28009086
2016Degli Esposti, M., Geiger, O., Martinez-Romero, E. (2016) Recent developments on bacterial evolution into eukaryotic cells Evolutionary Biology: Convergent Evolution, Evolution Of Complex Traits, Concepts And Methods ():187-202 [doi:10.1007/978-3-319-41324-2_12]
2015Escobedo-Hinojosa, W.I., Vences-Guzmán, M.Á., Schubotz, F., Sandoval-Calderón, M., Summons, R.E., López-Lara, I.M., Geiger, O., Sohlenkamp, C. (2015) OlsG (Sinac-1600) Is an ornithine lipid N-Methyltransferase from the planctomycete Singulisphaera acidiphila JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY 290(24):15102-15111 [doi:10.1074/jbc.M115.639575]25925947
2015Sohlenkamp, C., Geiger, O. (2015) Bacterial membrane lipids: Diversity in structures and pathways Fems Microbiology Reviews 40(1):133-159 [doi:10.1093/femsre/fuv008]25862689
2015Aguilar, C., Flores, N., Riveros-McKay, F., Sahonero-Canavesi, D., Carmona, S.B., Geiger, O., Escalante, A., Bolívar, F. (2015) Deletion of the 2-acyl-glycerophosphoethanolamine cycle improve glucose metabolism in Escherichia coli strains employed for overproduction of aromatic compounds Microbial Cell Factories 14(1):194-194 [doi:10.1186/s12934-015-0382-6]26627477
2015Sahonero-Canavesi, D.X., Sohlenkamp, C., Sandoval-Calderón, M., Lamsa, A., Pogliano, K., López-Lara, I.M., Geiger, O. (2015) Fatty acid-releasing activities in Sinorhizobium meliloti include unusual diacylglycerol lipase Environmental Microbiology 17(9):3391-3406 [doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12814]25711932
2015Angel Vences-Guzman, Miguel, Guan, Ziqiang, Itzel Escobedo-Hinojosa, Wendy, Roberto Bermudez-Barrientos, Jose, Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2015) Discovery of a bifunctional acyltransferase responsible for ornithine lipid synthesis in Serratia Proteamaculans Environmental Microbiology 17(5):1487-1496 [doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12562]25040623
2013Vences Guzmán, Miguel Ángel, Guan, Z.Q., Bermúdez Barrientos, José Roberto, Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2013) Agrobacteria lacking ornithine lipids induce more rapid tumour formation Environmental Microbiology 15(3):895-906 [doi:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2012.02867.x]22958119
2013Geiger, O, Lopez-Lara, IM, Sohlenkamp, C (2013) Phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis and function in bacteria Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-Molecular And Cell Biology Of Lipids 1831(3):503-513 [doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2012.08.009]22922101
2012Vences Guzmán, Miguel Ángel, Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2012) Ornithine lipids and their structural modifications: From A to E and beyond Fems Microbiology Letters 335(1):1-10 [doi:10.1111/j.1574-6968.2012.02623.x]22724388
2012Solis Oviedo, Rosa Lidia, Martínez-Morales, F., Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2012) Functional and topological analysis of phosphatidylcholine synthase from Sinorhizobium meliloti Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-Molecular And Cell Biology Of Lipids 1821(4):573-581 [doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2012.01.016]22333179
2011Pech Canul, Angel De La Cruz, Nogales, J., Miranda-Molina, A., Álvarez, L., Geiger, Otto, Soto, M.J., López Lara, Isabel María (2011) FadD is required for utilization of endogenous fatty acids released from membrane lipids Journal Of Bacteriology 193(22):6295-6304 [doi:10.1128/JB.05450-11]21926226
2011Landeta Escamilla, Cristina, Dávalos Rodríguez, Araceli Elvira, Cevallos Gaos, Miguel Ángel Carlos, Geiger, Otto, Brom Klanner, Susana, Romero Camarena, David René (2011) Plasmids with a chromosome-like role in Rhizobia Journal Of Bacteriology 193(6):1317-1326 [doi:10.1128/JB.01184-10]21217003
2011Vences Guzmán, Miguel Ángel, Guan, Z.Q., Ormeño Orrillo, Ernesto Aldo, González Silva, Napoleón, López Lara, Isabel María, Martínez Romero, María Esperanza, Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2011) Hydroxylated ornithine lipids increase stress tolerance in Rhizobium tropici CIAT899 Molecular Microbiology 79(6):1496-1514 [doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2011.07535.x]21205018
2010Ingram, Brian O., Sohlenkamp, Christian, Geiger, Otto, Raetz, Christian R. H. (2010) Altered lipid A structures and polymyxin hypersensitivity of Rhizobium etli mutants lacking the lpxE and LpxF phosphatases Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-Molecular And Cell Biology Of Lipids 1801(5):593-604 [doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2010.02.001]20153447
2010Medeot, Daniela B., Sohlenkamp, Christian, Dardanelli, Marta S., Geiger, Otto, Garcia de Lema, Mirta, Lopez-Lara, Isabel M. (2010) Phosphatidylcholine levels of peanut-nodulating Bradyrhizobium sp. SEMIA 6144 affect cell size and motility Fems Microbiology Letters 303(2):123-131 [doi:10.1111/j.1574-6968.2009.01873.x]20030724
2010López Lara, Isabel María, Geiger, Otto (2010) Formation of fatty acids Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology Hydrocarbons, Oils, and Lipids: Diversity, Properties and Formation ():385-394
2010Geiger, Otto, Gonzalez-Silva, Napoleon, Lopez-Lara, Isabel M., Sohlenkamp, Christian (2010) Amino acid-containing membrane lipids in bacteria Progress In Lipid Research 49(1):46-60 [doi:10.1016/j.plipres.2009.08.002]19703488
2010Geiger, Otto (2010) Lipids and Legionella virulence Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology Hydrocarbons, Oils, and Lipids: Diversity, Properties and Formation ():3195-3202
2010Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian, López Lara, Isabel María (2010) Formation of bacterial membrane lipids: pathways, enzymes, reactions Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology Hydrocarbons, Oils, and Lipids: Diversity, Properties and Formation ():396-405
2008Angel Vences-Guzman, Miguel, Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2008) Sinorhizobium meliloti mutants deficient in phosphatidylserine decarboxylase accumulate phosphatidylserine and are strongly affected during symbiosis with Alfalfa Journal Of Bacteriology 190(20):6846-6856 [doi:10.1128/JB.00610-08]18708506
2008Sepulveda, E., Perez-Mendoza, D., Ramirez-Romero, M. A., Soto, M. J., Lopez-Lara, I. M., Geiger, O., Sanjuan, J., Brom, S., Romero, D. (2008) Modulation of conjugative activity of rhizobial symbiotic plasmids by repression and transcriptional interference FEBS JOURNAL 275(1):49-49
2008Sepulveda, Edgardo, Perez-Mendoza, Daniel, Ramirez-Romero, Miguel A., Soto, Maria J., Lopez-Lara, Isabel M., Geiger, Otto, Sanjuan, Juan, Brom, Susana, Romero, David (2008) Transcriptional interference and repression modulate the conjugative ability of the symbiotic plasmid of Rhizobium etli Journal Of Bacteriology 190(12):4189-4197 [doi:10.1128/JB.00041-08]18424522
2008Conover, Gloria M., Martinez-Morales, Fernando, Heidtman, Matthew I., Luo, Zhao-Qing, Tang, May, Chen, Cui, Geiger, Otto, Isberg, Ralph R. (2008) Phosphatidylcholine synthesis is required for optimal function of Legionella pneumophila virulence determinants CELLULAR MICROBIOLOGY 10(2):514-528 [doi:10.1111/j.1462-5822.2007.01066.x]17979985
2008Geiger, Otto, López Lara, Isabel María, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2008) Altered formations of special eubacterial membrane lipids affect bacterial interactions with eukaryotic hosts Current Plant Science and Biotechnology. Agriculture Biological Nitrogen Fixation, Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment 42(0):245-246
2008Hacker, Stephanie, Sohlenkamp, Christian, Aktas, Meriyem, Geiger, Otto, Narberhaus, Franz (2008) Multiple phospholipid N-methyltransferases with distinct substrate specificities are encoded in Bradyrhizobium japonicum Journal Of Bacteriology 190(2):571-580 [doi:10.1128/JB.01423-07]17993534
2008Geiger, O., Lopez-Lara, I. M., Sohlenkamp, C. (2008) ALTERED FORMATIONS OF SPECIAL EUBACTERIAL MEMBRANE LIPIDS AFFECT BACTERIAL INTERACTIONS WITH EUKARYOTIC HOSTS Biological Nitrogen Fixation: Towards Poverty Alleviation Through Sustainable Agriculture 42():245-246
2007Sohlenkamp, Christian, Galindo-Lagunas, Kanaan A., Guan, Ziqiang, Vinuesa, Pablo, Robinson, Sally, Thomas-Oates, Jane, Raetz, Christian R. H., Geiger, Otto (2007) The lipid lysyl-phosphatidylglycerol is present in membranes of Rhizobium tropici CIAT899 and confers increased resistance to polymyxin B under acidic growth conditions Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 20(11):1421-1430 [doi:10.1094/MPMI-20-11-1421]17977153
2007Sepulveda, Edgardo, Perez-Mendoza, Daniel, Munoz, Socorro, Ramirez-Romero, Miguel A., Soto, Maria Jose, Cervantes, Laura, Herrera-Cervera, Jose A., Lopez-Lara, Isabel Sabel, Geiger, Otto, Sanuan, Juan, Brom, Susana, Romero, David (2007) Regulation of conjugal transfer of the Rhizobium etli Sym plasmid. Plasmid 57(2):220-221
2007Medeot, D.B., Sohlenkamp, Christian, Geiger, Otto, García, M.B., López Lara, Isabel María (2007) Phosphatidycholine fuction in rhizobial strains nodulating peanut: genes and enzymatic activites Biocell 31():134-
2006Reeve, Wayne G., Brau, Lambert, Castelli, Joanne, Garau, Giovanni, Sohlenkamp, Christian, Geiger, Otto, Dilworth, Michael J., Glenn, Andrew R., Howieson, John G., Tiwaril, Ravi P. (2006) The Sinorhizobium medicae WSM419 IpiA gene is transcriptionally activated by FsrR and required to enhance survival in lethal acid conditions MICROBIOLOGY-SGM 152(10):3049-3059 [doi:10.1099/mic.0.28764-0]17005985
2006López Lara, Isabel María, Sohlenkamp, Christian, Geiger, Otto (2006) The post-genomic era - What comes next? Revista Latinoamericana De Microbiologia 48(1):44-4517357573
2006Geiger, Otto, Sohlenkamp, Christian, López Lara, Isabel María (2006) Function of rhizobial membrane lipids for the symbiosis with legumes Proceedings of the 12th International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 5():132-137
2006Sánchez, F., Quinto, C., López Lara, Isabel María, Geiger, Otto (2006) Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions Proceedings of the 12th International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 5():1-717
2005Rojas-Jimenez, K., Sohlenkamp, Christian, Geiger, Otto, Martínez Romero, María Esperanza, Werner, D., Vinuesa Fleischmann, Pablo (2005) A CIC chloride channel homolog and ornithine-containing membrane lipids of Rhizobium tropici CIAT899 are involved in symbiotic efficiency and acid tolerance Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 18(11):1175-1185 [doi:10.1094/MPMI-18-1175]16353552
2005Lopez-Lara, IM, Gao, JL, Soto, MJ, Solares-Perez, A, Weissenmayer, B, Sohlenkamp, C, Verroios, GP, Thomas-Oates, J, Geiger, O (2005) Phosphorus-free membrane lipids of Sinorhizobium meliloti are not required for the symbiosis with alfalfa but contribute to increased cell yields under phosphorus-limiting conditions of growth Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 18(9):973-982 [doi:10.1094/MPMI-18-0973]16167767
2004Sepulveda, Edgardo, Perez-Mendoza, Daniel, Munoz, Socorro, Ramirez-Romero, Miguel A., Soto, Maria Jose, Cervantes, Laura, Herrera-Cervera, Jose A., Lopez-Lara, Isabel Sabel, Geiger, Otto, Sanuan, Juan, Brom, Susana, Romero, David (2004) Identification of functional mob regions in Rhizobium etli: Evidence for self-transmissibility of the symbiotic plasmid pRetCFN42d Journal Of Bacteriology 186(17):5753-5761 [doi:10.1128/JB.186.17.5753-5761.2004]15317780
2004Gao, JL, Weissenmayer, B, Taylor, AM, Thomas-Oates, J, Lopez-Lara, IM, Geiger, O (2004) Identification of a gene required for the formation of lyso-ornithine lipid, an intermediate in the biosynthesis of ornithine-containing lipids Molecular Microbiology 53(6):1757-1770 [doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2004.04240.x]15341653
2004Sohlenkamp, C, de Rudder, KEE, Geiger, O (2004) Phosphatidylethanolamine Is Not Essential for Growth of Sinorhizobium meliloti on Complex Culture Media Journal Of Bacteriology 186(6):1667-1677 [doi:10.1128/JB.186.6.1667-1677.2004]14996797
2003Martinez-Morales, F, Schobert, M, Lopez-Lara, IM, Geiger, O (2003) Pathways for phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis in bacteria MICROBIOLOGY-SGM 149(12):3461-3471 [doi:10.1099/mic.0.26522-0]14663079
2003Lopez-Lara, IM, Sohlenkamp, C, Geiger, O (2003) Membrane lipids in plant-associated bacteria: Their biosyntheses and possible functions Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 16(7):567-579 [doi:10.1094/MPMI.2003.16.7.567]12848422
2003Djordjevic, M.A., Chen, H.C., Natera, S., Van Noorden, G., Menzel, C., Taylor, S., Renard, C., Geiger, Otto, Weiller, G.F. (2003) A global analysis of protein expression profiles in Sinorhizobium meliloti: Discovery of new genes for nodule occupancy and stress adaptation Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 16(6):508-524 [doi:10.1094/MPMI.2003.16.6.508]12795377
2003Sohlenkamp, C, Lopez-Lara, IM, Geiger, O (2003) Biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine in bacteria Progress In Lipid Research 42(2):115-162 [doi:10.1016/S0163-7827(02)00050-4]12547654
2002Geiger, Otto, López Lara, Isabel María (2002) Rhizobial acyl carrier proteins and their roles in the formation of bacterial cell-surface components that are required for the development of nitrogen-fixing root nodules on legume hosts Fems Microbiology Letters 208(2):153-162 [doi:10.1016/S0378-1097(02)00478-0]11959430
2001Lopez-Lara, IM, Geiger, O (2001) The nodulation protein NodG shows the enzymatic activity of an 3-oxoacyl-acyl carrier protein reductase Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 14(3):349-357 [doi:10.1094/MPMI.2001.14.3.349]11277432
2001Lopez-Lara, IM, Geiger, O (2001) Novel pathway for phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis in bacteria associated with eukaryotes JOURNAL OF BIOTECHNOLOGY 91(2-3):211-221 [doi:10.1016/S0168-1656(01)00331-5]11566392
2000Weissenmayer, B, Geiger, O, Benning, C (2000) Disruption of a gene essential for sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol biosynthesis in Sinorhizobium meliloti has no detectable effect on root nodule symbiosis Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 13(6):666-672 [doi:10.1094/MPMI.2000.13.6.666]10830266
1999de Rudder, KEE, Sohlenkamp, C, Geiger, O (1999) Plant-exuded choline is used for rhizobial membrane lipid biosynthesis by phosphatidylcholine synthase JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY 274(28):20011-20016 [doi:10.1074/jbc.274.28.20011]10391951
2004Geiger, O, Sohlenkamp, C, Martinez-Morales, F, Gao, JL, Zavaleta-Pastor, M, Lopez-Lara, IM (2004) Regulation of membrane lipid biosynthesis in eubacteria FASEB JOURNAL 18(8, S):3-3
2010Davila-Martinez, Yadira, Laura Ramos-Vega, Ana, Contreras-Martinez, Sandra, Encarnacion, Sergio, Geiger, Otto, Lopez-Lara, Isabel M. (2010) SMc01553 is the sixth acyl carrier protein in Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021 MICROBIOLOGY-SGM 156(1):230-239 [doi:10.1099/mic.0.033480-0]19797355
2016Sahonero-Canavesi, Diana X., Zavaleta-Pastor, Maritza, Martinez-Aguilar, Lourdes, Lopez-Lara, Isabel M., Geiger, Otto (2016) Defining substrate specificities for lipase and phospholipase candidates JOVE-JOURNAL OF VISUALIZED EXPERIMENTS 2016(117):e54613- [doi:10.3791/54613]27911408
2002Weissenmayer, B, Gao, JL, Lopez-Lara, IM, Geiger, O (2002) Identification of a gene required for the biosynthesis of ornithine-derived lipids Molecular Microbiology 45(3):721-733 [doi:10.1046/j.1365-2958.2002.03043.x]12139618
2012Higareda, M.F., Geiger, O, Mendoza, L., Mendez-Sánchez, R.A. (2012) Evidence of codon usage in the nearest neighbor spacing distribution of bases in bacterial genomes PHYSICA A-STATISTICAL MECHANICS AND ITS APPLICATIONS 391(4):1255-1269 [doi:10.1016/j.physa.2011.10.035]
2011González Silva, Napoleón, López Lara, Isabel María, Reyes-Lamothe, R., Taylor, A.M., Sumpton, D., Thomas-Oates, J., Geiger, Otto (2011) The dioxygenase-encoding olsD gene from Burkholderia cenocepacia causes the hydroxylation of the amide-linked fatty acyl moiety of ornithine-containing membrane lipids Biochemistry 50(29):6396-6408 [doi:10.1021/bi200706v]21707055
2001Minder, AC, de Rudder, KEE, Narberhaus, F, Fischer, HM, Hennecke, H, Geiger, O (2001) Phosphatidylcholine levels in Bradyrhizobium japonicum membranes are critical for an efficient symbiosis with the soybean host plant Molecular Microbiology 39(5):1186-1198 [doi:10.1046/j.1365-2958.2001.02325.x]11251836
2009Laura Ramos-Vega, Ana, Davila-Martinez, Yadira, Sohlenkamp, Christian, Contreras-Martinez, Sandra, Encarnacion, Sergio, Geiger, Otto, Lopez-Lara, Isabel M. (2009) SMb20651 is another acyl carrier protein from Sinorhizobium meliloti MICROBIOLOGY-SGM 155(1):257-267 [doi:10.1099/mic.0.022079-0]19118366
2000de Rudder, KEE, Lopez-Lara, IM, Geiger, O (2000) Inactivation of the gene for phospholipid N-methyltransferase in Sinorhizobium meliloti: Phosphatidylcholine is required for normal growth Molecular Microbiology 37(4):763-772 [doi:10.1046/j.1365-2958.2000.02032.x]10972799
2000Sohlenkamp, C, de Rudder, KEE, Rohrs, V, Lopez-Lara, IM, Geiger, O (2000) Cloning and characterization of the gene for phosphatidylcholine synthase JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY 275(25):18919-18925 [doi:10.1074/jbc.M000844200]10858449
2009Sandoval-Calderon, Mario, Geiger, Otto, Guan, Ziqiang, Barona-Gomez, Francisco, Sohlenkamp, Christian (2009) A eukaryote-like cardiolipin synthase is present in Streptomyces coelicolor and in most actinobacteria JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY 284(26):17383-17390 [doi:10.1074/jbc.M109.006072]19439403
2010Zavaleta-Pastor, Maritza, Sohlenkamp, Christian, Gao, Jun-Lian, Guan, Ziqiang, Zaheer, Rahat, Finan, Turlough M., Raetz, Christian R. H., Lopez-Lara, Isabel M., Geiger, Otto (2010) Sinorhizobium meliloti phospholipase C required for lipid remodeling during phosphorus limitation PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 107(1):302-307 [doi:10.1073/pnas.0912930107]20018679