Fungal Genetics and Pathogens
In the world of microbes, fungi take a special place from both an ecological and biotechnological point of view. On the one hand filamentous fungi and yeasts are mainly responsible for the maintenance of the global nutrient cycles (especially carbon recycling), but on the other hand, they are also the most important pathogens for plants.
The PIs of this Research Focus investigate the molecular mechanisms by which molds and yeasts regulate their nutritional demands, how they sense and interact with the environment, produce mycotoxins or overcome host defense systems during infection of plants and animals. Projects of these groups contribute to the BOKU Scientific Initiative "Bioresources and Technology" established at the Campus in Tulln and PIs extensively collaborate with other researchers there on topics such as fungal virulence, epigenetic regulation and adaptation, plant –pathogen interactions, resistance, mycotoxins and biotechnology.
The findings from this research provide important basic insights into fungal molecular biology and ecology and lay the foundations for collaborative projects with industry to formulate strategies that allow a more efficient control of fungal infections in agriculture or the development of new biotechnological products from fungi.
We coordinate the Special Research Program (SFB) of the FWF-Austrian Research Fund called “Fusarium metabolites and detoxification reactions” and also operate a "Core Facility" (BiMM) open for internal and external research groups to perform high-throughput automated screening programs and genetic and biochemical analyses.