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Research - Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Mösch

Fungal Dimorphism

The development of multicellular organisms from individual cells represents one of the landmarks in evolution. Many fungi are able to perform a transition in life cycle - termed 'dimorphism' - from a unicellular yeast-form to a multicellular filamentous growth form. In human and plant fungal pathogens, dimorphism is often a significant virulence factor. Therefore, a clear understanding of genes and gene products involved in fungal dimorphism is a promising avenue to provide molecular targets for drug development.




We are studying dimorphism in the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, one of the most well studied model systems for molecular genetic analysis and genomics. Filamentous growth of S. cerevisiae is initiated by specific nutritional signals and is accompanied by changes in cell polarity and morphogenesis. The budding pattern of cells changes, resulting in linear filamentous chains of cells. Cell morphogenesis is altered from ellipsoidal shaped yeast form cells to long thin pseudohyphal cells. Cellular adhesion is up-regulated enabling the organism to form multicellular filaments and to penetrate substrates by invasive growth. Therefore, yeast and filamentous growth forms of S. cerevisiae are considered to be distinct cell types.

Signal Transduction

We are investigating the signaling pathways that control filamentous growth of S. cerevisiae in response to environmental signals. These pathways include a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade and the cyclic AMP (cAMP) pathway of S. cerevisiae. We want to understand how individual components, such as small GTP-binding proteins, protein kinases and transcription factors, interact with each other to accurately process diverse environmental signals and to elicit appropriate molecular and physiological responses required for filament formation.


Cell Adhesion

For cell adhesion, S. cerevisiae contains a set of cell-wall associated glycoproteins that belong to the family of fungal GPI-anchored adhesins. These proteins confer adhesion to diverse biotic and abiotic surfaces and are important for agglutination of sexual partner cells and for nonsexual, vegetative adhesion. We are studying the structure and function of vegetative adhesins, also called flocculins or Flo proteins. Our goal is to uncover the molecular mechanisms, by which these cell surface proteins confer self-recognition during cell-cell adhesion and discriminate between diverse foreign surfaces on substrates. On the long run, we want to understand how adaptation of cell adhesion contributes to the ability of S. cerevisiae to choose between different lifestyles and to successfully colonize diverse ecological niches.


Zuletzt aktualisiert: 14.10.2011 · Hans-Ulrich Mösch

Fb. 17 - Biologie

Fb. 17 - Biologie, Karl-von-Frisch-Straße 8, D-35043 Marburg
Tel. +49 6421/28-23499, Fax +49 6421/28-22052, E-Mail: Fb-17Biologie@uni-marburg.de

URL dieser Seite: https://www.uni-marburg.de/fb17/fachgebiete/genetik/molgen/forschung

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