Welcome to the Begerow lab. We will give you a short overview of our research on fungi. We are mainly interested in the evolution and ecoloy of plant parasites and yeasts. There are two major plant parasitic groups among the basidiomycetes: smuts and rusts. While the rusts form a monophyletic clade of more then 5000 species, the smuts are polyphletic and are represented by the Ustilaginomycotina and Microbotryales. We are working in all three groups and try to understand the evolution of host relationship and specificity. Beside phylogenetic analyses of rusts and smuts, we started the comparison of their phylogeny with those of their host plants in coevolutionary studies. Thus, we are covering all steps from field sampling and molecular phylogeny up to infection studies and transformation of lab strains.
In addition to plant parasites, we are interested in the biology of basidiomycetous yeasts from various environments. At the moment we are studying the community structure soil yeasts in the DFG Biodiveristy Exploratories.