Co-culture of Tricholoma vaccinum and Picea abies in a Petri dish.

Ectomycorrhizal fungi

Co-culture of Tricholoma vaccinum and Picea abies in a Petri dish.
Image: Manuela Östreicher
Tricholoma vaccinum and spruce (Picea abies). Tricholoma vaccinum and spruce (Picea abies). Image: Katrin Krause (Cover-Bild: Journal of Basic Microbiology, 2/2016)

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. The sequenced genome of Tricholoma vaccinum and Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated transformation enable functional analyses. Using fingerprinting techniques genes specifically induced during establishing and functioning the symbiotic tissues could be detected, like an aldehyde dehydrogenase and a MATE transporter. Also hydrophobins, small, secreted proteins with a broad range of functions, including formation of aerial structures and mycorrhiza development, are in the focus of research.

Stress inducing conditions cause e.g. the induction of a retrotransposon, which might influence gene expression or genome evolution. In a further project the impact of other soil microorgansms like zygomycetes on the symbiosis of T. vaccinum and spruce (Picea abies), the production of phytohormones and volatiles are investigated.

The influence 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. Axenic co-culture experiments are performed to elucidate molecularbiological background of heavy metal response.

Colleagues in these projects:

Dr. Katrin Krause, Dipl.-Biol. Manuela Östreicher, Dipl. Soil Sciences Olga Bogdanova, M.Sc. Oluwatosin Abdulsalam, M.Sc. Marycolette Ezediokpu.

Alumni: Dr. Theodore Asiimwe, Dr. Maria Bizo, Dr. Steffi Formann, Dr. Felicia Gherghel, Dr. Matthias Gube, Dr. Catarina Henke, Dr. Ines Schlunk, Dr. Dominik Sammer, Dr. Katharina Wagner, Dipl.-Biol. Michael Biermann, Dipl.-Biol. Dorit Grunewald, Dipl.-Biol. Christine Herzlieb, M.Sc. Vincent Kessler, M.Sc. Mohammad Hasan Rahman Khattak, Dipl.-Biol. Cynthia Rüger, Dipl.-Biol. Christine Steinbach, Dipl.-Biol. Andrea Ulbricht.

Most important publications:

Abdulsalam O, Wagner K, Wirth S, Kunert M, David A, Kallenbach M, Boland W, Kothe E, Krause K (2020) Phytohormones and volatile organic compounds, like geosmin, in the ectomycorrhiza of Tricholoma vaccinum and Norway spruce (Picea abies). Mycorrhiza, doi: 10.1007/s00572-020-01005-2.

Wagner K, Krause K, Gallegos-Monterrosa R, Sammer D, Kovács ÁT, Kothe E (2019) The ectomycorrhizospheric habitat of Norway spruce and Tricholoma vaccinum: promotion of plant growth and fitness by a rich microorganismic community, Front Microbiol 10, 307. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00307.

Bizo ML, Nietzsche S, Mansfeld U, Langenhorst F, Goettlicher J, Majzlan J, Ozunu A, Formann S, Krause K, Kothe E (2017). Response to lead pollution: mycorrhizal Pinus sylvestris forms the biomineral pyromorphite in roots and needles. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 24(16),14455-14462. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-9020-7. Epub 2017 Apr 25.

Sammer D, Krause K, Gube M, Wagner K, Kothe E (2016). Hydrophobins in the life cycle of the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Tricholoma vaccinum. PLoS ONE 11(12), e0167773. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0167773.

Henke C, Jung EM, Voit A, Kothe E, Krause K (2015). Dehydrogenase genes in the ectomycorrhizal fungus Tricholoma vaccinum: A role for Ald1 in mycorrhizal symbiosis. J Basic Microbiol Epub ahead of print. DOI: 10.1002/jobm.201500381.

Krause K, Henke C, Asiimwe T, Ulbricht A, Klemmer S, Schachtschabel D, Boland W, Kothe E (2015). Biosynthesis and secretion of indole-3-acetic acid and its morphological effects on Tricholoma vaccinum-spruce ectomycorrhiza. Appl Environ Microbiol 81, 7003-7011.

Schlunk I, Krause K, Wirth S, Kothe E (2015). A transporter for abiotic stress and plant metabolite resistance in the ectomycorrhizal fungus Tricholoma vaccinum. Env Sci Poll Res 22, 19384-19393.

Wagner K, Krause K, David A, Kai M, Jung EM, Sammer D, Kniemeyer O, Boland W, Kothe E (2015). Influence of zygomycete-derived D'orenone on IAA signaling in Tricholoma-spruce ectomycorrhiza. Environ Microbiol. Epub ahead of print. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.13160.

Wagner K, Linde J, Krause K, Gube M, Köstler T, Sammer D, Kniemeyer O, Kothe E (2015). Tricholoma vaccinum host communication during ectomycorrhiza formation. Env Microbiol Ecol 91, Epub ahead of print DOI: 10.1093/femsec/fiv120.