Fungal Genetics and Genomics
Fungal transcription factors and epigenetics
We try to understand at the molecular level how fungal transcription factors work in the context of chromatin to find their targets and to function according to the “instructions” they receive through signaling pathways from their environment. With these questions in mind we work on the saprophytic species Aspergillus nidulans and on two plant-pathogenic Fusarium species which infect wheat, maize and rice.
We use molecular genetic tools for functional studies of genes in our fungi and do lots of biochemistry work to isolate and to characterize the transcription factor proteins. Genome-wide studies of protein localization (ChIP-seq) and transcriptional activity (RNA-seq) are routinely used techniques in our lab. We also perform plant infection studies and use ChIP and RNA-seq to understand how these regulatory factors influence virulence of the pathogens. Finally, in cooperation with the AIT group (Markus Gorfer), we are interested to learn how such regulatory networks impose on the fitness and ecological functions of fungi in their environments.
Leader: Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Joseph Strauss