We are interested in cell-cell communication, cell fusion and differentiation. As experimental model systems we employ different filamentous fungi, mainly the red bread mold Neurospora crassa. Neurospora has been a scientific model organism for many years, offering many advantages features such as fast growth, simple crossing procedures, a fully sequenced and annotated genome, and many available mutant strains. Neurospora grows in form of long filaments or hyphae, which can reach a diameter of 10 - 20 um. This relatively large size makes Neurospora an ideal model to study cell biological questions. We are using a combination of classical and molecular genetics, biochemical analysis, light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy and live-cell imaging in our studies.
Recently, we have begun to study the relationship of fungal morphogenesis and productivity in biotechnological applications. Here, we are using the filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger as a model system. In addition, we seek to establish N. crassa as an expression system for the production of heterologous proteins for pharmaceutical applications.