Prof. Dr. Regine Kahmann
Studies in Microbiology, Universität Göttingen, 1967
Diplom (Biology), Universität Göttingen, 1972
Dr. rer. nat (Biology), Freie Universität Berlin, 1974
Postdoc and Junior Staff Member, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 1980
Research Associate, Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, 1982
Leader of an independent Research Group, Otto-Warburg Laboratory at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, 1986
Leader of an independent Research Group at the Institute for Genebiological Research in Berlin, 1992
Professor of Genetics, Institute for Genetics and Microbiology at the Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität München, since 1992
Director and Head of the Department of Organismic Interactions at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, since 2000
Professor of Genetics, Philipps-Universität Marburg, since 4/2001
Research Area: Molecular Phytopathology
In our group we aim for an understanding of how fungi manage to infect plants. We focus on a group of fungi that are pathogens of grasses and cereal crop plants and cause so-called smut diseases. Our prime model is the biotrophic fungus Ustilago maydis that induces tumors in infected corn plants. To establish itself in the plant tissue that needs to stay alive to support the infection, U. maydis secretes a battery of mostly completely novel effector proteins. These effectors are used to suppress plant immune responses and to reprogram the metabolism of the host to benefit fungal needs. Our goal is to determine where these effectors go after being secreted into the plant-fungus interface, what their molecular function is, how they have evolved in the arms-race between pathogen and host and how their expression is regulated.
Smut fungi comprise a large group of biotrophic pathogens which parasitize mostly on grasses including a number of cereal hosts like maize, barley and wheat. They are characterized by a narrow host range, infect plants systemically and usually cause symptoms in male and female inflorescences only. The fungus Ustilago maydis, causing smut disease in maize, is an exception in that symptoms, in this case large tumors, can develop on all above ground parts of the plant. This leads to stunted growth and significant reduction in crop yield. The particular feature of U. maydis to infect all above ground parts of a maize plant, allows to conduct virulence assays in less than two weeks in maize seedlings. Combined with its highly efficient homologous recombination system that can be used to generate deletion mutants and the many molecular tools developed, the U. maydis-maize system has become one of the most attractive models for biotrophic plant pathogenic fungi and for elucidating how such pathogens cause disease.
More about "Smut fungi"
Tollot, M., Assmann, D., Becker, C., Altmüller, J., Dutheil, J. Y., Wegener, C.-E. and Kahmann, R. (2016). The WOPR protein Ros1 is a master regulator of sporogenesis and late effector gene expression in the maize pathogen Ustilago maydis. PLoS Pathog 12(6): e1005697. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1005697
Dutheil, J.Y., Mannhaupt, G., Schweizer, G., Sieber, C.M.K., Münsterkötter, M., Güldener, U., Schirawski, J., and Kahmann, R. (2016). A tale of genome compartmentalization: the evolution of virulence clusters in smut fungi. Genome Biol. Evol. 8(3): 681-701. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evw026
Schuster, M., Schweizer, G., Reissmann, S., and Kahmann, R. (2015). Genome editing in Ustilago maydis using the CRISPR-Cas system. Fungal Genetics and Biology, S1087-1845(15)30025-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2015.09.001.
Lo Presti, L., Lopez Diaz, C., Turra, D., Di Pietro, A., Hampel, M., Heimel, K., and Kahmann, R. (2015). A conserved co-chaperone is required for virulence in fungal plant pathogens. New Phytologist Oct 21. doi: 10.1111/nph.13703.
Tanaka, S., Djamei, A., Lo Presti, L., Schipper, K., Amati, S., Becker, D., Büchner, H., Kumlehn, J., Reissmann, S., and Kahmann, R. (2015). Experimental approaches to investigate effector translocation into host cells in the Ustilago maydis/maize pathosystem. Eur J Cell Biol 94, 349-358.
Tanaka, S., Han, X. and Kahmann, R. (2015) Microbial effectors target multiple steps in the salicylic acid production and signaling pathway. Front. Plant Sci. 6:349. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00349
Lo Presti, L., Lanver, D., Schweizer, G., Tanaka, S., Liang, L., Tollot, M., Zuccaro, A., Reissmann, S. & Kahmann, R. (2015) Fungal Effectors and Plant Susceptibility Ann. Rev. Plant Biol. Vol. 66: 513-545 (Volume publication date April 2015) DOI: 10.1146/annurev-arplant-043014-114623.
Tanaka, S., Brefort, T., Neidig, N., Djamei, A., Kahnt, J., Vermerris, W., Koenig, S., Feussner, K., Feussner, I. & Kahmann, R. (2014) A secreted Ustilago maydis effector promotes virulence by targeting anthocyanin biosynthesis in maize. eLife 2014;3:e01355; DOI: 10.7554/eLife.01355.001.
Brefort, T., Tanaka, S., Neidig, N., Doehlemann, G., Vincon, V. & Kahmann, R. (2014) Characterization of the largest effector gene cluster of Ustilago maydis. PLoS Pathog 10(7): e1003866. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003866
Lanver, D., Berndt, P., Tollot, M., Naik, V., Vranes, M., Warmann, T., Münch, K., Rössel, N. & Kahmann, R. (2014) Plant surface cues prime Ustilago maydis for biotrophic development. PLoS Pathog 10(7): e1004272. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004272
Sarkari, P., Reindl, M., Stock, J., Müller, O., Kahmann, R., Feldbrügge, M., Schipper, K. (2014) Improved expression of single-chain antibodies in Ustilago maydis. J. Biotechnol. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2014.06.028
Perez-Nadales, E., Almeida-Nogueira, M. F., Baldin, C., Díaz, S., El Ghalid, M., Grund, E., Lengeler, K., Marchegiani, E., Mehrotra, P. V., Moretti, M., Naik, V., Oses Ruiz, M., Oskarsson, T., Schäfer, K., Wasserstrom, L., Brakhage, A., Gow, N. A. R., Kahmann, R., Lebrun, M.-H., Perez-Martin, J., Di Pietro, A., Talbot, N. J., Toquin, V., Walther, A., Wendland, J. (2014) Fungal model systems and the elucidation of pathogenicity determinants. Fungal Genet. Biol. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fgb.2014.06.011