Laboratory of Molecular Ecology and Mycology (MEM)

Research interest
Laboratory of Molecular Ecology and Mycology (MEM) deals with diversity, ecological interactions and trophic preferences of fungi. We adopted tradition of systematic research and mastered it by proposing morphological description standards. We combine phylogeny, morphology and ecology of fungi to explain evolutionary and phylogenetic processes. We use bioclimatic data to link phylogeny with spatial distribution and ecological requirements of pathogenic and mycorrhizal fungal species. We are implementing taxonomic knowledge to explain results of metabarcoding studies. Our goal is to understand functional traits of individual fungal species and use this knowledge to study responses of fungal communities to various ecological factors.

Methods we use
• DNA extractions from single organism tissues and environmental samples
• multilocus phylogenies of Sanger based DNA sequences
• assessing of soil fungal communities using hightroughput next generation sequencing
• bioinformatics processing of amplicon sequence data
• reconstruction of morphological and ecological adaptations
• cultivations of fungi

We want to implement the multi-omics research to define interactions and ecological functions of individual fungi within the ecosystem. We wish to continue with taxonomy, systematics and phylogeny of fungi. We are focusing to find a best way how to specify ecological role of individual species and to use it for assessing of changes in ecosystems triggered in response to changing ecological factors or human managements. We emphasize our effort to improve links in a scientific pipeline of (a) taxonomic circumscription of species, (b) identification of their ecological role, (c) assessing their functional traits (d) answering ecological questions important for sustainable environmental management. We have ambition to learn advanced analyses of soil properties and omics analyses of environmental DNA.