Prof. Dr. Matthias Noll

Research areas
  • Environmental microbiology – Molecular microbial ecology
  • Material resistance against microorganisms
  • Food microbiology
  • Bioanalysis
Teaching areas
  • General Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular biological analysis

Phone: +49 (0)9561 317-645
Fax: +49 (0)9561 317-346
Room 2-215
e-Mail: matthias.noll[at]

Prof. Noll has expertise in microbial ecology, environmental and food microbiology.


The effect of forest management intensity, tree species and fungal-bacterial diversity on resource use, decomposition and gas emissions in dead Wood Funwood IV (funding by German science foundation,

Wood-decomposition in forest ecosystems is a very important process with immense ecological consequences. Dead wood is an important structural component of forest ecosystems and it influences a large number of ecosystem functions of which the most relevant are C sequestration, nutrient cycling, and habitat provision for wood dwelling organisms. FunWood IV project will focus on ecosystem functions in dead wood decomposition and corresponding biodiversity. It aims to test experimentally whether increasing species richness will result in higher functional diversity in dead wood decomposer communities, and how the decomposer diversity and ecosystem processes are influenced by forest management intensity. FunWood IV will combine a range of state-of-the-art techniques (amplicon gene sequencing, metaproteomics, protein-SIP, CO2 emission rate and C/N content analyses) to provide an improved understanding on how decomposer communities execute wood degradation processes under fluctuating temperatures.

Long-time exposure of bacteria to microbiocides (funding by German Federal Institute of Risk Assessment)

Microbiocides at sublethal concentrations cause an adaption of pathogenic bacteria. In this adaptation process the induction of increased micro-biocides resistances as well as of acquired antimicrobial susceptibility are of major interest in this project. The effect of single disinfections compounds, which were routinely applied for consumer goods and products, on bacterial tolerance and resistance will be tested. The application of micro-biocides shifts a majority of bacteria from a culturable state to a viable but non-culturable state (VBNC). Pathogenic bacteria in VBNC may maintain or reactivate their potential of infectivity by shifts of environmental conditions. VBNC has been described as survival strategy to overcome the effect of micro-biocides. Micro-biocide tolerant Sub-populations may act as source of recurring infections in clinical setup as well as in products and food environments. As VBNC cannot be detected by cultivation-based approaches, these sub-populations will not be detected by such classical approaches. In this project we are assessing bacteria in the VBNC by molecular biological, microscopic and proteomic analyses to get a better understanding of the induction and bacterial characteristics of VBNC bacteria.

New combinations of food additives with anti-fungal and anti-yeast effects (funded by Adalbert-Raps-Stiftung)

Ascomycetes, yeasts and bacteria are known as spoilage microorganisms in food and they are able to change color, texture, taste and smell of food. Moreover, the microbial biomass in food can increase and microbial compounds with health hazard such as mycotoxins can be formed. To prevent food spoilage and presence of pathogenic microorganisms, food additives such as essential oils are used. So far, few knowledge is present of plant compounds that are simultaneously active against ascomycetes, yeasts and bacteria. In this project public databases will be screened to find natural plant compounds with antimicrobial properties. Thereafter, interesting plant compounds will be tested in their antimicrobial activity against relevant spoilage microorganisms in a lab approach. In best case, compounds will be identified with a high antimicrobial activity against a broad range of spoilage microorganisms at low concentration.

Nisin as food additivein cheese products (funded by the Central Innovation Programme for SMEs by theGerman Ministry for Economics Affairs and Energy)

Consumption of food spoiled by Listeria monocytogenes can lead to severe diseases or even to death. In former outbreaks, consumption of cheese products such as soft cheese were the source of infection. The lantibiotic nisin is an approved food additive to protect food from spoilage microorganisms such as L. monocytogenes. In this project, a procedure will be developed for soft cheese production to capsulate the nisin. Encapsulation of nisin will enable a delayed release and, therefore, high concentrations of nisin will be bio-available during the cheese production and maturing. As result, an increased food safety will be achieved to enable a better consumer protection.

Energetic use of organic waste and other agricultural sources (funding by Bavarian Science Foundation)

The project from team Noll is a part of the consortium FOR 10´000 consisting of many companies and universities. The target of FOR 10´000 is the development of a holistic approach to gain energy from organic waste on a municipal level and to extend the expertise of small and medium sized biogas plants. The multi-disciplinary approach will focus on modules for substrate preparation, biogas cleaning to bio-methane, optimized usage of heat, microbial fuel cells, concepts for fermentation residues and excess waters. The group of Prof. Noll will carry out population analyses of biogas and sewage treatment plants and the characterization of the phylogenetic and functional state of the present microbial communities.

Characterization and use of microbial communities in industrial algae cultures
(Cooperation with the University of Hochschule Anhalt)

Biofuels can be generated from photosynthetic active organisms. Such organisms produce biofules environmental friendly and are discussed as alternative to fossil fuels. Biofuels by micro-algae offer a high rate of biomass and oil production compared to vascular plants. Micro-algae live within a bacterial community, which is needed beside light and minerals to have a high micro-algae productivity. In this project an on-line fluorometric lipid analyses will be developed and the accompanying microbial communities will be described in the phylogenetic and functional composition.

Contract Research (Industrial partners)

The growth and adherence of microorganisms on surface can be measured. The effectiveness of biocides to protect material surfaces can be analyzed according to ISO 22196:2007 and other protocols. In addition, the migration of biocides from the material can also be assessed as described by Ramos, et al. 2011.


Noll M, KletaS, Al Dahouk S. (2017)
Antibiotic susceptibility of 259 Listeria monocytogenes strains isolated from food, food-processing plants and human samples in Germany.
J Infect Public Health. 2017 Dec 26. pii: S1876-0341(17)30295-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jiph.2017.12.007.

Lasota, S., Stephan, I., Horn, M. A., Noll, M. (2017)
Effect of copper-based wood preservatives on fungal and bacterial community composition at the soil-wood interface of stakes in vineyards and fruit-growing soils. In submission.

Schmalenberger, A. and Noll, M. (2014)
Bacterial communities in grassland turfs respond to sulphonate addition while fungal communities remain largely unchanged. European Journal of Soil Biology 61:12-19.

Conrad, R., Ji, Y., Noll, M., Klose, M., Claus, P. and Enrich-Prast, A. (2014)
Response of the methanogenic microbial communities in Amazonian oxbow lake sediments to desiccation stress. Environmental Microbiology 16:1682-1694.

Weiler, C., Ifland, A., Naumann, A., Kleta, S. and Noll M. (2013)
Incorporation of Listeria monocytogenes strains in raw milk biofilms. International Journal of Food Microbiology 163:61-68.

Naumann, A., Stephan, I. and Noll M. (2012)
Material resistance of weathered wood-plastic composites against fungal decay Biodeterioration and Biodegradation 75:28-35.

Jakobs-Schönwandt, D., Mathies, Abraham, W.-R., H., Pritzkow, W., Stephan, I. and Noll, M. (2010)
Biodegradation of a biocide (Cu-Cyclohexyldiazenium Dioxide) component of a wood preservative by a defined soil bacterial community. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76: 8076-8083.

Noll, M., Frenzel, P. and Conrad, R. (2008)
Selective stimulation of type I methanotrophs in a rice paddy by urea fertilisation revealed by stable isotope probing. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 65: 125-132.

Conrad, R., Klose, M., Noll, M., Kemnitz, D. and Bodelier, P. (2008)
Effect of cultivar and soil type on composition and activity of the methanogenic archaeal community inhabiting rice roots. Global Change Biology 14: 657-669.

Noll, M., Matthies, D., Frenzel, P., Derakshani, M. and Liesack, W. (2005)
Succession of bacterial community structure and diversity in a paddy soil oxygen gradient. Environmental Microbiology 7: 382-395.

Aktuelle Publikationsliste:


Alice Rödel

externe Doktorandin, Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung