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MICROBIAL COMMUNICATION

Research areas

The research concerns mushroom forming fungi, specifically their mating type loci which encode pheromone receptors of the seven transmembrane domain family and their ligands, lipopeptide pheromones. Host and substrate specificity are investigated with fungi of the genus Tricholoma that are able to form a mutual symbiotic relationship with trees. Using fingerprinting techniques, over 100 genes specifically induced during establishing and function of the symbiotic tissues could be detected. Streptomycetes from a heavy metal contaminated site of the former uranium mining site Wismut in Eastern Thuringia are used to determine the mechanisms of heavy metal resistance in this group of important soil microbes. With a particular focus on the visualization of morphological changes during mating interactions, our research interests are:

  • mating type genes and sexual development in the white rot fungus Schizophyllum commune
  • mutually beneficial symbiotic interactions of basidiomycetes in ectomycorrhizae
  • heavy-metal resistance in fungi and streptomycetes applications to improve bioremediation

Teaching fields

Professor Kothe teaches at the basic and advanced levels, including the coordination of the M.Sc. program Master's degree in Microbiology and she is involved in the Bachelor's and Master's degree programs in Biogeosciences. Additionally, she is involved in many graduate teaching programs. Subjects taught are:

  • basic and advanced microbiology
  • bio-geo-interactions
  • high level microbial interactions, cell biology and development

Research methods

The group offers all research-oriented teaching in the fields of microbiology and cell biology of bacteria and fungi. Nanostructures and minerals are covered with special emphasis on nanoparticles, biominerals and microbial investigation involving:

  • fluorescence video-imaging
  •  high resolution microscopy
  • gene technology
  • the characterization of mutations
  • the characterization of native consortia

>> link to the Microbial Communication Group

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