DESCRIPTION OF THE GROUP

We are interested in the ecology and evolution of various groups of fungi. The number of fungi species is estimated at even 1 million, which is 4 times more than known plant species! Though many important substances used by humans are isolated from fungi, and the ecological role of this organisms is priceless, they have been studied insufficiently. In our research we focus on phylogenetic studies and on relations between fungi and other groups of organisms.


GROUP MEMBERS

Marta Wrzosek Ph.D., Julia Pawłowska Ph.D.

THE LEADER OF THE GROUP

TEAM

Marta Wrzosek Ph.D.,
Julia Pawłowska Ph.D.,
Małgorzata Krupska M.Sc.,
Michał Gorczak,
Marta Tischer,
Lidia Serewa,
Alicja Okrasińska,
Jerzy Koziaczy,
Łukasz Istel,
Justyna Strawińska,
Igor Siedlecki

 

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

Entomopathogenic fungi – their ecology, taxonomy and potential uses.

We are interested in the interactions between fungi and insects, especially fungi from orders of Laboulbeniales, Entomophthorales and Hypocreales. We study host-behavioral changes after fungal infection, ways of transmission and influence on fitness. We determine phylogenetic position of entomopathogenic fungi.

Taxonomy and phylogenesis of fungi from old evolutionary lineages, with special regard to Mucorales and Mortierellales.

We are members of an international research group working on analysis of phylogenesis and physiology of Zygomycota. We verify the taxonomic position of these fungi and actively search for species new for science.

Interactions between fungi and bacteria and between fungi and insects

As we know about the presence of bacteria in fungal hyphae, about the presence of fungi in insects and insects in fungi, we look for their interactions. As little is known about host preferences, every identified ecological relation at this level is precious. We would like to know how bacteria modify enzymatic profiles of fungi, if the observed interactions are obligatory or facultative. We started to explore fungi in flower nectar, with regard to their probable influence on pollinator preferences.

We look for insect-bound fungi in Baltic amber. In cooperation with the Museum of the Earth in Warsaw and with collections from Gdansk, Cracow and Hamburg, we explore inclusions in search of fungal structures. We hope that finding fungi from orders of Laboulbeniales, Hypocreales and Entomophthorales will help in calibration of the molecular clock for entomopathogenic fungi evolution.

Mycosociological studies of soils

We prepare and compare lists of soil fungi from different habitats. We look for reference areas for further study. We search for taxa-typical for seminatural areas and areas changed by human activities.

Fungi from protected areas

In collaboration with the Polish Mycological Society we prepare an inventory of species from protected areas.

Invasive fungi

We found a species in Poland from Boletales that can be potentially invasive and may influence our indigenous species through competitive exclusion. We monitor expansion of this species and carry out ecological experiments to assess its actual influence on other species.

Research services:

  • Expert opinion for construction industry
  • Expert opinion for food and cosmetics industry
  • Judical expert opinion
  • Expert opinion on historical and ceremonial objects
  • Preparation of inventories of macrofungi.