Prof. Dr. Marcel Bucher

Research focus

Plant roots are colonized by a staggering amount of microbes spanning the whole spectra from parasitic to mutualistic interactions with their host. The often unexplored endophytic root microflora includes numerous fungal commensals which provide no obvious benefit to their host plant nor do they cause harm. Our main research interest in CEPLAS is to elucidate the structure and function of the root endophytic mycoflora of annual and perennial Brassicaceae species. Do plants select microbes from soil and, if yes, how do they communicate with the root microbiota? How does the plant environment (e.g. soil parameters) modulate this selection? The overall goal is to devise approaches for the transfer of host adapted microbiomes to other plant species to enhance their performance.

The five most important publications

  1. Xue L, Klinnawee L, Zhou Y, Saridis G, Vijayakumar V, Brands M, Dormann P, Gigolashvili T, Turck F, Bucher M (2018) AP2 transcription factor CBX1 with a specific function in symbiotic exchange of nutrients in mycorrhizal Lotus japonicus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115(39):E9239-E9246. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1812275115.
  2. Almario J, Jeena G, Wunder J, Langen G, Zuccaro A, Coupland G, Bucher M (2017) Root-associated fungal microbiota of nonmycorrhizal Arabis alpina and its contribution to plant phosphorus nutrition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114(44):E9403-E9412. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1710455114.
  3. Hiruma K, Gerlach N, Sacristan S, Nakano RT, Hacquard S, Kracher B, Neumann U, Ramirez D, Bucher M, O'Connell RJ, Schulze-Lefert P (2016) Root Endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae Confers Plant Fitness Benefits that Are Phosphate Status Dependent. Cell 165(2):464-474. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.02.028.
  4. Drissner D, Kunze G, Callewaert N, Gehrig P, Tamasloukht M, Boller T, Felix G, Amrhein N, Bucher M (2007) Lyso-phosphatidylcholine is a signal in the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis. Science 318(5848):265-268.
  5. Rausch C, Daram P, Brunner S, Jansa J, Laloi M, Leggewie G, Amrhein N, Bucher M (2001) A phosphate transporter expressed in arbuscule-containing cells in potato. Nature 414(6862):462-470.
Prof. Dr. Marcel Bucher
CEPLAS Marcel Bucher

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Institute for Plant Sciences, Cologne Biocenter
University of Cologne