The SFB combines the expertise of BOKU researchers working in diverse fields such as fungal molecular biology, plant molecular biology (with focus on model systems), plant breeding, plant transformation, analytical chemistry and metabolomics on this issue. Our team is further strengthened by the participation of researchers from other institutions with complementary expertise, such as Toxicology (University of Vienna, UNIVIE) and Bioinformatics (Technical University of Munich, TUM and Helmholtz Zentrum München, HZM).
In our interdisciplinary team we have the possibility to combine our expertise, e.g. to genetically engineer Fusarium strains for overproduction of certain toxins facilitating their purification, to use preparative HPLC capacity for purification, and to use recombinant detoxification enzymes to produce otherwise unavailable mycotoxin conjugates. On the host-plant side identification of genes behind prominent resistance QTL that are heavily utilized by breeders is facilitated by the use of near isogenic material differing only in defined QTL intervals. The combined analysis by transcriptomics (RNA-Seq) and metabolomics is supported by bioinformatic network analysis allows to gain insights into respective mechanisms at a new level. Moreover, the toxicity of newly discovered compounds and combinations of metabolites can be studied in mammalian cells by the toxicology partner from the University of Vienna.