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Microbial Phytopathology
“omics” in the higher basidiomycete Schizophyllum commune | Print |
The white rot fungus Schizophyllum commune reproduces via sexual spores only. Thus sexual development is targeted with the mating type loci encoding transcription factors and a pheromone receptor system of 7 transmembrane domain family receptors and their lipopeptide pheromone ligands. The receptors can distinguish between at least 20 different self and non-self pheromones. In response to a non-self pheromone, intracellular, Ras dependent signal transduction leads to induction of dynein dependent nuclear migration. In addition to the investigation of sexual development, involvement of S. commune in weathering of Corg-rich rock material is studied. The fungus is involved in the degradation of complex organic molecules including lignin and could also be shown to release carbon from the surface of black slate, likely by releasing enzymes like laccase. Since 2009 the sequenced genome of S. commune is available at www.jgi.doe.gov .

Fig. 1: S. commune fruitbodies at common beech

(Prof. Dr. Erika Kothe, Dr. Susann Erdmann, M.Sc. Melanie Brunsch, Dipl. Biol. Elke-Martina Jung, M.Sc. Soumya Madhavan, Dipl. Biol. Daniela Freihorst)

Ectomycorrhizal fungi – specific gene expression, diversity and relationship with the environment | Print |
Colonization strategies and host specificity of ectomycorrhizal fungi are examined. Host and substrate specificity are investigated with fungi of the genus Tricholoma that are able to form a mutual symbiotic relationship with trees (Figure 1). Using fingerprinting techniques (arbitrary primed RT-PCR) genes specifically induced during establishing and functioning the symbiotic tissues could be detected.

Figure 1: Ectomycorrhiza of Tricholoma vaccinum with spruce: a) axenic petri dish culture, b) mycorrhized short root with c) Hartig’ net in the cross section.
The impact of mycorrhiza on the ecosystem forest is investigated in heavy metal contaminated habitats, including biodiversity of ectomycorrhiza and the occurrence of different exploration types in relationship with the environment pollution.

(Prof. Dr. Erika Kothe, Dr. Katrin Krause, Dr. Matthias Gube, Dipl. Troph. Ines Schlunk, Dipl. Biol. Dominik Senftleben, M.Sc. Steffi Formann, Dipl.-Ing. agr. Catarina Henke, M. Sc. Katharina Reiher)


Heavy metal resistance of streptomycetes | Print |

Streptomycetes from a heavy metal containing site of the former uranium mining site Wismut in Eastern Thuringia are used to determine the mechanisms of heavy metal resistance in this group of important soil microbes. Investigation of superoxide dismutase and other factors of heavy metal binding capacity are investigated by biochemical and molecular techniques. In addition, fungi from this site are investigated for control of heavy metal uptake by phosphate transport and storage within vacuoles. The monitoring of microbial biodiversity in disturbed ecosystems is included in these investigations which are part of a Geo-Bio-Interaction group in collaboration with other researchers of the university and Wismut GmbH/WIUTEC.


(Prof. Dr. Erika Kothe, Dr. Götz Haferburg, Dipl. Biol. Martin Reinicke, M.Sc. Frank Schindler, M.Sc. Eileen Schütze, M.Sc. Annekatrin Voit, M.Sc. Francesca Langella, René Phieler)