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Fungal development and pathogenesis

Foto: Stefan Brückner

The development of multicellular organisms from individual cells represents one of the landmarks in evolution. Many fungi are able to switch between unicellular yeast-like and various multicellular growth forms in response to changing environments, a physiological trait that often significantly contributes to the virulence of fungal pathogens. In our research group, we study the molecular mechanisms underlying fungal development and pathogenesis at the example of various apathogenic and human pathogenic yeasts. We currently investigate the molecular and structural basis of cell adhesion, cell wall biogenesis, signal transduction and transcriptional regulation with the goal to understand how environmental adaptation and evolution of these processes contribute to the ability of eukaryotic microorganisms to choose between different lifestyles and colonize diverse ecological niches.