• Our new home,

    from summer 2021

  • Global Warming:

    the threat of a permafrost Carbon – climate feedback

  • We develop and improve

    stable isotopes techniques for ecological applications

  • Plants, fungi and bacteria interact

    at the root-soil interface

  • Probing the future:

    Climate Change experiments

  • Soil is fundamental to human life

  • Tropical rainforests

    hold the key to global net primary productivity

TER News

Latest publications

Catchment properties as predictors of greenhouse gas concentrations across a gradient of boreal lakes

Boreal lakes are the most abundant lakes on Earth. Changes in acid rain deposition, climate, and catchment land use have increased lateral fluxes of terrestrial dissolved organic matter (DOM), resulting in a widespread browning of boreal freshwaters. This browning affects the aqueous communities and ecosystem processes, and boost emissions of the greenhouse gases (GHG) CH4, CO2, and N2O. In this study, we predicted biotic saturation of GHGs in boreal lakes by using a set of chemical, hydrological, climate, and land use parameters. For this purpose, concentrations of GHGs and nutrients (organic C, -P, and -N) were determined in surface water samples from 73 lakes in south-eastern Norway covering wide ranges in DOM and nutrient concentrations, as well as catchment properties and land use. The spatial variation in saturation of each GHG is related to explanatory variables. Catchment characteristics (hydrological and climate parameters) such as lake size and summer precipitation, as well as NDVI, were key determinants when fitting GAM models for CH4 and CO2 saturation (explaining 71 and 54%, respectively), while summer precipitation and land use data were the best predictors for the N2O saturation, explaining almost 50% of deviance. Our results suggest that lake size, precipitation, and terrestrial primary production in the watershed control the saturation of GHG in boreal lakes. These predictions based on the 73-lake dataset was validated against an independent dataset from 46 lakes in the same region. Together, this provides an improved understanding of drivers and spatial variation in GHG saturation in boreal lakes across wide gradients of lake and catchment properties. The assessment highlights the need to incorporate multiple explanatory parameters in prediction models of GHGs for extrapolation across the boreal biome.

Valiente N, Eiler A, Allesson L, Andersen T, Clayer F, Crapart C, Dörsch P, Fontaine L, Heuschele J, Vogt RD, Wei J, de Wit HA, Hessen DO
2022 - Front. Environ. Sci., 10: Article 880619

richoderma – genomes and genomics as treasure troves for research towards biology, biotechnology and agriculture

The genus Trichoderma is among the best studied groups of filamentous fungi, largely because of its high relevance in applications from agriculture to enzyme biosynthesis to biofuel production. However, the physiological competences of these fungi, that led to these beneficial applications are intriguing also from a scientific and ecological point of view. This review therefore summarizes recent developments in studies of fungal genomes, updates on previously started genome annotation efforts and novel discoveries as well as efforts towards bioprospecting for enzymes and bioactive compounds such as cellulases, enzymes degrading xenobiotics and metabolites with potential pharmaceutical value. Thereby insights are provided into genomes, mitochondrial genomes and genomes of mycoviruses of Trichoderma strains relevant for enzyme production, biocontrol and mycoremediation. In several cases, production of bioactive compounds could be associated with responsible genes or clusters and bioremediation capabilities could be supported or predicted using genome information. Insights into evolution of the genus Trichoderma revealed large scale horizontal gene transfer, predominantly of CAZyme genes, but also secondary metabolite clusters. Investigation of sexual development showed that Trichoderma species are competent of repeat induced point mutation (RIP) and in some cases, segmental aneuploidy was observed. Some random mutants finally gave away their crucial mutations like T. reesei QM9978 and QM9136 and the fertility defect of QM6a was traced back to its gene defect. The Trichoderma core genome was narrowed down to 7000 genes and gene clustering was investigated in the genomes of multiple species. Finally, recent developments in application of CRISPR/Cas9 in Trichoderma, cloning and expression strategies for the workhorse T. reesei as well as the use genome mining tools for bioprospecting Trichoderma are highlighted. The intriguing new findings on evolution, genomics and physiology highlight emerging trends and illustrate worthwhile perspectives in diverse fields of research with Trichoderma.

Schalamun M, Schmoll M
2022 - Front. Fungal Biol., 3: Article 1002161

Tools for adapting to a complex habitat: G-protein coupled receptors in Trichoderma

Sensing the environment and interpretation of the received signals are crucial competences of living organisms in order to properly adapt to their habitat, succeed in competition and to reproduce. G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are members of a large family of sensors for extracellular signals and represent the starting point of complex signaling cascades regulating a plethora of intracellular physiological processes and output pathways in fungi. In Trichoderma spp. current research involves a wide range of topics from enzyme production, light response and secondary metabolism to sexual and asexual development as well as biocontrol, all of which require delicate balancing of resources in response to the environmental challenges or biotechnological needs at hand, which are crucially impacted by the surroundings of the fungi and their intercellular signaling cascades triggering a precisely tailored response. In this review we summarize recent findings on sensing by GPCRs in Trichoderma, including the function of pheromone receptors, glucose sensing by CSG1 and CSG2, regulation of secondary metabolism by GPR8 and impacts on mycoparasitism by GPR1. Additionally, we provide an overview on structural determinants, posttranslational modifications and interactions for regulation, activation and signal termination of GPCRs in order to inspire future in depth analyses of their function and to understand previous regulatory outcomes of natural and biotechnological processes modulated or enabled by GPCRs.

Schmoll M, Hinterdobler W
2022 - Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science, 1: 65-97

Lecture series

Microbial ecology of nitrogen cycling in paddy soils

Yong-Guan Zhu
Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences & Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences
09:00 h
Lecture Hall HS 5, UZA2 (Geocentre), Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna

How to meet the Paris 2°C target: Which are the main constraints that will need to be overcome?

Ivan Janssens
Centre of Excellence of Global Change Ecology, University of Antwerp, Belgium
12:00 h
Lecture Hall HS2 (UZA 1), Althanstraße 14, 1090 Vienna

Soil C dynamics –when are microbial communities in control?

Naoise Nunan
Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences IEES Paris, France
12:00 h
Lecture Hall HS2 (UZA 1), Althanstraße 14, 1090 Vienna