Environmental Genomics

We study speciation and host specialization processes in fungal plant pathogens in an evolutionary and ecological context. A main goal of our research is to understand the underlying molecular mechanism of species divergence and adaptive processes in host-pathogen systems. We integrate functional and experimental approaches with bioinformatics and next generation sequence data to study and describe differences between closely related pathogen species which have evolved and specialized to different hosts and environments. Our model system is a group of closely related grass pathogens including the prominent wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici (synonym Mycosphaerella graminicola).