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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-04-01 - 2025-03-31

The MYCO-BIOMICS project follows on from an earlier collaboration under H2020-MSCA-RISE "GoMyTRi", which successfully laid the foundation for an international collaboration with world-leading research institutions in fungal molecular research. The current consortium consists of selected partners in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Thailand, Kenya and South Africa. All research groups have an excellent scientific track record and additional know-how and expertise in their areas of expertise. The common research interest of the partners is molecular mycology. They have joined forces to explore useful secondary metabolites for the development of bioactive compounds, including antibiotics. This will help identify potential new drug candidates for applications in medicine, agricultural production and environmental biotechnology. In addition to classical research approaches, the project also aims to use and implement new -OMICS technologies, as well as consider interaction of different organisms with fungi. All this should lead to the discovery of new bioactive molecules and characterization of mycobiota of important crops. The interdisciplinary education of the students aims at training in mycology, molecular biology, molecular physiology, microbiology, and modern chemical analysis (e.g. mass spectrometry). In addition, skills in industrial research and project management should be acquired. Furthermore, several dissemination events are planned.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-01-01 - 2024-12-31

The team established screening systems fpr microbes and plants to identify new bioactive substances and enzymes. So far, 17 new substances and one new enzyme were found and characterized. Two of them have new antibiotic activities and another two are promising candidates with antiproliferative activities whic are actually tested in cooperation with medical instiitutes of the Medical Universities in Krems and Vienna. All new substances and their functions are under patenting applications. Apart from applied aspects, members of the BiMM team have published more than 50 scientific papers in which the BiMM equipment and expertise has been used to generate and interprete the data. Future perspectives: many cooperation activities have been established that will also in future use the know-how and the infrastructure of the BiMM facility. Cooperations will be ongoing with our partners from industry and academia, among other, the Austrian Center for Industrial Biotechnology (ACIB) or BIOMIN/DSM, and University clinics like UKH St.Pölten or th Karl-Landsteiner University and University of Applied Sciences in Krems.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-01-01 - 2023-12-31

Fusaria represent one of the most important group of plant-pathogenic fungi. They are widely distributed and infect various economically important crops such as rice, wheat and maize. The Fusarium fujikuroi species complex (FFC), consisting of about 50 monophyletic, highly related Fusarium sp. comprises important members of these plant pathogens. Members of this group are known to produce a broad spectrum of small molecular weight compounds, so-called secondary metabolites (SMs), including harmful mycotoxins that frequently contaminate food and feed. A crucial step to combat mycotoxin contaminations is to understand the regulatory network that orchestrates their biosynthesis. In the recent years, it became evident that chromatin structure plays a key role in regulating fungal SM gene expression. The chromatin structure is highly dynamic and driven by changes in posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of histones deposited on the genome. In F. fujikuroi, trimethylation of histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) – a hallmark of facultative heterochromatin – functions in SM gene silencing. In contrast to published filamentous fungi, loss of H3K27me3 is lethal in this fungus. Knock-down of FfKMT6 by RNA Interference resulted in reduced H3K27me3 levels accompanied by crippled growth, abolished conidiation and increased SM biosynthesis. Intriguingly, reversion phenotypes occurred that showed elevated KMT6 expression and restored wild type-like growth and conidiation. The goal of EpiVit is to gain deeper knowledge on PRC2-mediated gene silencing in members of the FFC. In the focus of this project is the better understanding of the mode of action of Kmt6. Based on this, the following objectives were defined: (1) Evaluate whether Kmt6 vitality is conserved within members of the FFC; (2) Unravel the cause that sets F. fujikuroi (or the FFC) apart from other fungal species; and (3) Exploitation of the relationship between H3K27me3 and other relevant histone PTMs (histone crosstalk).

Supervised Theses and Dissertations