environmental sampling; alien invasive species; conciliation biology; ash dieback; next generation sequencing; endophytic fungi
Schlegel Markus, Queloz Valentin, Sieber Thomas N. (2018), The Endophytic Mycobiome of European Ash and Sycamore Maple Leaves – Geographic Patterns, Host Specificity and Influence of Ash Dieback, in Frontiers in Microbiology
, 9, 2345.
Ibrahim Mohammed, Sieber Thomas N., Schlegel Markus (2017), Communities of fungal endophytes in leaves of Fraxinus ornus are highly diverse, in Fungal Ecology
, 29, 10-19.
Wey Tea, Schlegel Markus, Stroheker Sophie, Gross Andrin (2016), MAT – gene structure and mating behavior of Hymenoscyphus fraxineus and Hymenoscyphus albidus, in Fungal Genetics and Biology
, 87, 54-63.
Ibrahim Mohammed, Schlegel Markus, Sieber Thomas N. (2016), Venturia orni sp. nov., a species distinct from Venturia fraxini living in the leaves of Fraxinus ornus, in Mycological Progress
, 15(3), 1172*.
Pautasso Marco, Schlegel Markus, Holdenrieder Ottmar (2015), Forest health in a changing world, in Microbial Ecology
, 69, 826-842.
Schlegel Markus, Dubach Vivanne, von Buol Larissa, Sieber Thomas N., Effects of endophytic fungi on the ash dieback pathogen, in FEMS Microbiology Ecology
, 92(9), fiw142.
The number of alien fungal species has dramatically increased during the last decades due to the increase of international trade and mobility, and the frequency of new introductions is expected to increase in the near future. Fungi are the second most diverse group of eukaryotes after the insects and assume important functions in most ecosystems. While a lot of attention has been dedicated to the interface between alien fungal pathogens and their host, only little is known about the effects of alien fungal invasions on species on the same trophic level, e.g. other fungi. Introduction of alien species in new ecosystems can threaten native species by reducing host density or by directly stimulating or suppressing resident fungal species. Endophytic fungi form distinct fungal communities in healthy plant tissues of all plant species. These endophytes are invisible to the naked eye, i. e. they are cryptic, and isolation of mycelia or DNA extraction from surface-sterilized tissues or microscopy are required to detect them. Thus, extinctions of endophytic species can go unnoticed (cryptic extinction). Introduction of the ash dieback pathogen (ADP), the ascomycete Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus, to Europe represents a great opportunity to study the ecological impact of an alien invasive species on the native fungal communities associated with ash (Fraxinus excelsior). Aims of the projects are (i) to evaluate the stability of resident communities of endophytic fungi in ash in the presence of H. pseudoalbidus and (ii) to compare endophyte communities of resistant and susceptible ash trees in order to find fungi suitable to suppress ADP. Prerequisites to achieve these goals are the comparison and optimization of methods of plant-surface sterilization and elimination of DNA from plant surfaces as well as testing the suitability of 454 sequencing to determine colonization density of endophytic fungi. We expect insights into the ecological functioning and stability of native fungal communities and hope to discover endophytic fungi suitable to control ADP.