Prof. Dr. Michael Bonkowski

Research focus

Our research in CEPLAS centers on endophytic protists in plants, such as the pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae, and their feedback on plant genetics and physiology. Recent discoveries of non-pathogenic endophytes within the Plasmodiophorida have the potential to identify the genetic mechanisms responsible for clubroot disease by comparing the metagenomes of pathogenic and non-pathogenic plasmodiophorids and by identifying the respective genetic control points of their host plants.

The ten most important publications

  1. Trap J, Bonkowski M, Plassard C, Villenave C, E B (2016) Ecological importance of soil bacterivores on ecosystem functions. Plant and Soil 398:1-24.
  2. The QC (2016) Networking Our Way to Better Ecosystem Service Provision. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 31(2):105-115.
  3. Ploch S, Rose LE, Bass D, Bonkowski M (2016) High Diversity Revealed in Leaf-Associated Protists (Rhizaria: Cercozoa) of Brassicaceae. J Eukaryot Microbiol 63(5):635-641.
  4. Fiore-Donno AM, Weinert J, Wubet T, Bonkowski M (2016) Metacommunity analysis of amoeboid protists in grassland soils. Scientific reports 6:19068.
  5. Geisen S, Tveit AT, Clark IM, Richter A, Svenning MM, Bonkowski M, Urich T (2015) Metatranscriptomic census of active protists in soils. ISME J 9(10):2178-2190.
  6. Bradford MA, Wood SA, Bardgett RD, Black HIJ, Bonkowski M, Eggers T, Grayston SJ, Kandeler E, Manning P, Setälä H, Jones TH (2014) Discontinuity in the responses of ecosystem processes and multifunctionality to altered soil community composition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111(40):14478-14483.
  7. Koller R, Rodriguez A, Robin C, Scheu S, Bonkowski M (2013) Protozoa enhance foraging efficiency of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi for mineral nitrogen from organic matter in soil to the benefit of host plants. New Phytol 199(1):203-211.
  8. Scherber C, Eisenhauer N, Weisser WW, Schmid B, Voigt W, Fischer M, Schulze ED, Roscher C, Weigelt A, Allan E, Bessler H, Bonkowski M, Buchmann N, Buscot F, Clement LW, Ebeling A, Engels C, Halle S, Kertscher I, Klein AM, Koller R, König S, Kowalski E, Kummer V, Kuu A, Lange M, Lauterbach D, Middelhoff C, Migunova VD, Milcu A, Müller R, Partsch S, Petermann JS, Renker C, Rottstock T, Sabais A, Scheu S, Schumacher J, Temperton VM, Tscharntke T (2010) Bottom-up effects of plant diversity on multitrophic interactions in a biodiversity experiment. Nature 468(7323):553-556.
  9. Rosenberg K, Bertaux J, Krome K, Hartmann A, Scheu S, Bonkowski M (2009) Soil amoebae rapidly change bacterial community composition in the rhizosphere of Arabidopsis thaliana. ISME J 3(6):675-684.
  10. Jousset A, Scheu S, Bonkowski M (2008) Secondary metabolite production facilitates establishment of rhizobacteria by reducing both protozoan predation and the competitive effects of indigenous bacteria. Functional Ecology 22(4):714-719.
Prof. Dr. Michael Bonkowski
CEPLAS Michael Bonkowski


+49 221 4703152

Zoological Institute, Department of Terrestrial Ecology
University of Cologne

Zülpicher Straße 47b

50674 Cologne
Heinrich Heine University
University of Cologne
Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research
Forschungszentrum Jülich