Division of Microbial Genetics and Pathogen Interactions


Division of Microbial Genetics and Pathogen Interactions

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 working Groups of the Division investigate the molecular mechanisms by which molds and yeasts regulate their nutritional demands, how they interact with the environment, produce mycotoxins or how they inactivate hosts defence systems during infection of plants and animals. The Division is part of the major research focus "Bioresources and Technology" and extensively collaborates with other researchers on the Campus Tulln in the topics dealing with fungal genetics, genomics, 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.

The Division coordinates large multidisciplinary research projects such as the Special Research Program (SFB) of the FWF-Austrian Research Fund called “Fusarium metabolites and detoxification reactions” and also operates a "Core Facility" (BiMM) open for internal and external research groups to perform high-throughput automated-handling aided screening programs and genetic and biochemical analyses.

Head of Division: Prof.Dr. Joseph Strauss

Division location: BOKU Campus Tulln

Research Groups of the Division

Plant-Pathogen Interaction Lab   
Leader: Ao.Univ.Prof. DI. Dr. Gerhard Adam

Systematic Genetics and Gene Expression lab   
Leader: Assoc.Prof. Dr. Christoph Schüller

Microbial Genetics - Fungal Genomics Lab   
Leader: Prof. Dr. Joseph Strauss