Marco Thines

Marco Thines
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main · Institute of Ecology, Evolution and Diversity

Prof. Dr.
President of the German Mycological Society (DGfM) // Member of NCF and ICTF // Editor-in-Chief of Mycological Progress

About

435
Publications
120,167
Reads
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10,125
Citations
Introduction
My research is centered on the evolutionary ecology of plant pathogens, in particular obligate biotrophic oomycetes. In my group we are studying a broad range of subjects related to this on historic herbarium collections as well as on freshly collected material. This includes functional genetics, genomics, molecular plant-pathogen interactions, trait evolution, taxonomy, evolutionary ecology, and ecological modelling.
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - December 2016
LOEWE Excellence Cluster of Integrative Fungal Research (IPF)
Position
  • Speaker and Coordinator of IPF
April 2010 - present
Senckenberg Biodiversität und Klima - Forschungszentrum
Position
  • Group Leader
Description
  • Evolutionary Ecology of Plant-Pathogen Interactions
April 2010 - present
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Professor in Evolutionary Analysis and Biological Archives
Education
April 2009 - March 2010
The Sainsbury Laboratory, Nowich, UK, Kamoun Lab
Field of study
  • Biology, Molecular Plant Pathology, Genomics
January 2006 - March 2009
University of Hohenheim
Field of study
  • Biology, Plant Pathology
October 2003 - December 2005
University of Hohenheim
Field of study
  • Biology, Plant Pathology

Publications

Publications (435)
Article
Full-text available
Even though the microevolution of plant hosts and pathogens has been intensely studied, knowledge regarding macro-evolutionary patterns is limited. Having the highest species diversity and host-specificity among Oomycetes, downy mildews are a useful a model for investigating long-term host-pathogen coevolution. We show that phylogenies of Bremia an...
Article
Full-text available
Root endophytic fungi are found in a great variety of plants and ecosystems, but the ecological drivers of their biogeographic distribution are poorly understood. Here, we investigate the occurrence of root endophytes in the non-mycorrhizal plant genus Microthlaspi, and the effect of environmental factors and geographic distance in structuring thei...
Article
Full-text available
Background The European Beech is arguably the most important climax broad-leaved tree species in Central Europe, widely planted for its valuable wood. Here we report the 542 Mb draft genome sequence of an up to 300-year-old individual (Bhaga) from an undisturbed stand in the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park in central Germany. Findings Using a hyb...
Article
Full-text available
Plant-pathogenic fungi hijack their hosts by secreting effector proteins. Effectors serve to suppress plant immune responses and modulate the host metabolism to benefit the pathogen. Smut fungi are biotrophic pathogens that also parasitize important cereals, including maize¹. Symptom development is usually restricted to the plant inflorescences. Us...
Article
Full-text available
Host jumping is a process by which pathogens settle in new host groups and is a cornerstone in the evolution of pathogens, as it leads to pathogen diversification. For facultative pathogens host jumping is not surprising, as they can reproduce even if they kill their host. It was thought that host jumps are rare in obligate biotrophic pathogens, bu...
Article
Full-text available
Tilletia caries and T. laevis , which are the causal agents of common bunt, as well as T. controversa, which causes dwarf bunt of wheat, threaten especially organic wheat farming. The three closely related fungal species differ in their teliospore morphology and partially in their physiology and infection biology. The gene content as well as intras...
Article
Genomic alteration can be generated through various means, in which transposable elements (TEs) can play a pivotal role. Their mobility causes mutagenesis in itself and can disrupt the function of the sequences they insert into.
Article
Full-text available
Lagena has so far only been known from the scarcely reported but widespread species Lagena radicicola, which is a parasite of root epidermal cells. While it was mostly reported from a wide range of cereals and other grasses, it has been shown to affect some dicot species under, e.g. tobacco and sugar beet. Due to the wide host spectrum under labora...
Article
Downy mildew species in the genus Plasmopara are obligate biotrophic pathogens responsible for destructive diseases of economically important cultivated and ornamental plants. During September 2020 and 2021, a downy mildew was observed on porcelain berry (Ampelopsis grandulosa var. brevipedunculata) in different locations in MD, USA. A total of thi...
Article
Full-text available
Seven Fusarium species complexes are treated, namely F. aywerte species complex (FASC) (two species), F. buharicum species complex (FBSC) (five species), F. burgessii species complex (FBURSC) (three species), F. camptoceras species complex (FCAMSC) (three species), F. chlamydosporum species complex (FCSC) (eight species), F. citricola species compl...
Article
Full-text available
Nonmycorrhizal root-colonizing fungi are key determinants of plant growth, driving processes ranging from pathogenesis to stress alleviation. Evidence suggests that they might also facilitate host access to soil nutrients in a mycorrhiza-like manner, but the extent of their direct contribution to plant nutrition is unknown. To study how widespread...
Article
Full-text available
Downy mildew pathogens of graminicolous hosts (Poaceae) are members of eight morphologically and phylogenetically distinct genera in the Peronosporaceae ( Oomycota , Peronosporales ). Graminicolous downy mildews (GDMs) cause severe losses in crops such as maize, millets, sorghum, and sugarcane in many parts of the world, especially in tropical clim...
Presentation
Oomycetes, fungus-like protists of the kingdom Straminipila that also includes diatoms and sea-weeds, were collected in July 2021 from various natural environments of Iceland. Substrates included plant debris, meadow and forest soil, pond water, and lake sediments. From this, 200 isolates were acquired. Based on morphological features and phylogene...
Article
Full-text available
Kálmán Vánky (15 th of June 1930-18 th of October 2021) was arguably the most prolific researcher of smut fungi so far. He published more than 1000 taxonomic novelties, and crowned his outstanding oeuvre with the most comprehensive monograph of the smut fungi (Smut Fungi of the World) written to date.
Article
Eleven new downy mildew species on grasses are described from Australia based on morphology and DNA sequence analysis of the mitochondrial cox2 and/or ribosomal large subunit genes. Peronosclerospora aristidae is proposed to accommodate a downy mildew on the indigenous Australian tropical grass Aristida hygrometrica. Baobabopsis marneyi occurs on E...
Article
Asexually reproducing fungi play a significant role in essential processes in managed and wild ecosystems such as nutrients cycling and multitrophic interactions. A large number of such taxa are among the most notorious plant and animal pathogens. In addition, they have a key role in food production, biotechnology and medicine. Taxa without or rare...
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides an updated classification of the Kingdom Fungi (including fossil fungi) and fungus-like taxa. Five-hundred and twenty-three (535) notes are provided for newly introduced taxa and for changes that have been made since the previous outline. In the discussion, the latest taxonomic changes in Basidiomycota are provided and the class...
Article
Full-text available
The European Beech is the dominant climax tree in most regions of Central Europe and valued for its ecological versatility and hardwood timber. Even though a draft genome has been published recently, higher resolution is required for studying aspects of genome architecture and recombination. Here, we present a chromosome-level assembly of the more...
Preprint
Transposable elements (TEs) play a pivotal role in shaping diversity in eukaryotic genomes. The covered smut pathogen on barley, Ustilago hordei , encountered a recent genome expansion. Using long reads, we assembled genomes of 6 U. hordei strains and 3 sister species, to study this genome expansion. We found that larger genome sizes can mainly be...
Article
Full-text available
Quaternary climatic fluctuations changed the floristic composition of large areas and forced biota to repeated movements following gradients of their ecological tolerance. Different and contrasting patterns of responses were reported for various species. In this study we focused on Adenophora liliifolia, a perennial herbaceous species representing...
Article
Full-text available
Holocarpic oomycetes infecting freshwater diatoms are obligate endobiotic parasites reported from a wide range of habitats. So far, the taxonomy of and phylogeny of most species remains unresolved, since most have not been reported throughout the past decades and sequence data are available for only the four species, Aphanomycopsis bacillariacearum...
Presentation
Full-text available
Oomycete flora of ornamental trees in Iran
Article
Full-text available
Plants have evolved a variety of defences to reduce losses to herbivores and pathogens. The benefits of these may, however, be modified by resistance evolution in antagonists, changes in antagonist fauna, context-dependent “costs of defence”, and by interactions between antagonists. In Barbarea vulgaris (Brassicaceae), the so-called “G-type” produc...
Article
Biotrophic plant parasites cause economically important diseases, e.g. downy mildew of grape, powdery mildew of legumes, wheat stripe rust, and wheat bunt. But also in natural ecosystems, these organisms are abundant and diverse, and for many hosts more than one specialised biotrophic pathogen is known. However, only a fraction of their diversity i...
Article
Full-text available
Species delimitation is one of the most fundamental processes in biology. Biodiversity undertakings, for instance, require explicit species concepts and criteria for species delimitation in order to be relevant and translatable. However, a perfect species concept does not exist for Fungi. Here, we review the species concepts commonly used in Basidi...
Article
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Growing amounts of genomic data and more efficient assembly tools advance organelle genomics at an unprecedented scale. Genomic resources are increasingly used for phylogenetic analyses of many plant species, but are less frequently used to investigate within-species variability and phylogeography. In this study, we investigated genetic diversity o...
Article
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Recent publications have argued that there are potentially serious consequences for researchers in recognising distinct genera in the terminal fusarioid clade of the family Nectriaceae. Thus, an alternate hypothesis, namely a very broad concept of the genus Fusarium was proposed. In doing so, however, a significant body of data that supports distin...
Article
Full-text available
Obligate endoparasitic oomycetes are known to ubiquitously occur in marine and freshwater diatoms, but their diversity is still largely unexplored. Many of these parasitoids are members of the early-diverging oomycete lineages (Miracula, Diatomophthora), others are within the Leptomitales of the Saprolegniomycetes (Ectrogella, Lagenisma) and some h...
Article
Scientific names are crucial for communicating knowledge concerning fungi and fungus-like organisms. In plant pathology, they link information regarding biology, host range, distribution and potential risk to agriculture and food security. In the past, delimitation among pathogenic taxa was primarily based on morphological characteristics. Due to d...
Article
The obligate biotrophic oomycete genus Pustula is one of the four major linages of white blister rusts (Albuginaceae) identified so far. Species of the genus Pustula cause white blister rust on numerous genera in the asterids, represented by several phylogenetically distinct genus-specific lineages, most of which still await formal description. Thu...
Article
Bremia lactucae is a devastating pathogen causing heavy yield losses in lettuce production worldwide. Long time it was thought to infect various members of the Asteraceae but recent phylogenetic investigations revealed that B. lactucae is restricted to cultivated Lactuca sativa and its wild progenitor Lactuca serriola. Many of the Dm resistance gen...
Article
Full-text available
The constitution and regulation of effector repertoires shape host‐microbe interactions. Ustilago maydis and Sporisorium reilianum are two closely related smut fungi, which both infect maize but cause distinct disease symptoms. Understanding how effector orthologs are regulated in these two pathogens can therefore provide insights to the evolution...
Article
Full-text available
In the course of global climate change, central Europe is experiencing more frequent and prolonged periods of drought. The drought years 2018 and 2019 affected European beeches ( Fagus sylvatica L.) differently: even in the same stand, drought damaged trees neighboured healthy trees, suggesting that the genotype rather than the environment was resp...
Article
Full-text available
Downy mildews caused by obligate biotrophic oomycetes result in severe crop losses worldwide. Among these pathogens, Pseudoperonospora cubensis and P. humuli, two closely related oomycetes, adversely affect cucurbits and hop, respectively. Discordant hypotheses concerning their taxonomic relationships have been proposed based on host-pathogen inter...
Article
Full-text available
Peronospora tabacina is an obligate parasite that causes blue mold of tobacco. The pathogen reproduces primarily by sporangia, whereas the sexual oospores are rarely observed. A collection of 122 isolates of P. tabacina was genotyped using nine microsatellites to assess the population structure of individuals from subpopulations collected from cent...
Article
Full-text available
It is now a decade since The International Commission on the Taxonomy of Fungi (ICTF) produced an overview of requirements and best practices for describing a new fungal species. In the meantime the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICNafp) has changed from its former name (the International Code of Botanical Nomencla...
Article
Full-text available
Similar to chloroplast loci, mitochondrial markers are frequently used for genotyping, phylogenetic studies, and population genetics, as they are easily amplified due to their multiple copies per cell. In a recent study, it was revealed that the chloroplast offers little variation for this purpose in central European populations of beech. Thus, it...
Article
Full-text available
Marine oomycetes are highly diverse, globally distributed, and play key roles in marine food webs as decomposers, food source, and parasites. Despite their potential importance in global ocean ecosystems, marine oomycetes are comparatively little studied. Here, we tested if the primer pair cox2F_Hud and cox2-RC4, which is already well-established f...
Article
The identification and proper naming of microfungi, in particular plant, animal and human pathogens, remains challenging. Molecular identification is becoming the default approach for many fungal groups, and environmental metabarcoding is contributing an increasing amount of sequence data documenting fungal diversity on a global scale. This include...
Article
Full-text available
This study was performed to identify Peronosclerospora species found in Indonesia based on sequence analysis of the cox2 gene. In addition, sequence data in total, 26 isolates of Peronosclerospora were investigated in this study. They were obtained from 7 provinces in Indonesia, namely Lampung, Jawa Timur, Jawa Barat, Sumatera Utara, Jawa Tengah, Y...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The European Beech is the dominant climax tree in most regions of Central Europe and valued for its ecological versatility and hardwood timber. Even though a draft genome has been published recently, higher resolution is required for studying aspects of genome architecture and recombination. Results Here we present a chromosome-level as...
Article
Plantago princeps var. princeps is an endangered native Hawaiian plant, and part of the recovery plan includes repopulation using plants grown in a nursery. However, disease pressure from downy mildew is hindering repopulation efforts. The organism associated with the downy mildew was determined to be a Peronospora species with brown, ellipsoid con...
Article
Full-text available
The genus Sirolpidium (Sirolpidiaceae) of the Oomycota includes several species of holocarpic obligate aquatic parasites. These organisms are widely occurring in marine and freshwater habitats, mostly infecting filamentous green algae. Presently, all species are only known from their morphology and descriptive life cycle traits. None of the seven s...
Article
Full-text available
Investigations into simple holocarpic oomycetes are challenging, because of the obligate biotrophic nature of many lineages and the periodic presence in their hosts. Thus, despite recent efforts, still, the majority of species described remains to be investigated for their phylogenetic relationships. One of these species is Aphanomycopsis bacillari...
Article
Full-text available
The biotrophic pathogen Ustilago maydis causes smut disease on maize (Zea mays) and induces the formation of tumours on all aerial parts of the plant. Unlike in other biotrophic interactions, no gene‐for‐gene interactions have been identified in the maize‐U. maydis pathosystem. Thus, maize resistance to U. maydis is considered a polygenic, quantita...
Article
Full-text available
Chloroplasts are difficult to assemble because of the presence of large inverted repeats. At the same time, correct assemblies are important, as chloroplast loci are frequently used for biogeography and population genetics studies. In an attempt to elucidate the orientation of the single-copy regions and to find suitable loci for chloroplast single...
Article
The downy mildew pathogen Pseudoperonospora humuli is a major disease of cultivated and wild hop (Humulus lupulus) in many hop-growing areas of the world. Despite its frequent occurence and economic impact, so far very little is known with respect to its population structure, which would be a prerequisite for understanding population dynamics and f...
Article
Full-text available
Holocarpic oomycetes convert their entire cytoplasm into zoospores and thus do not form dedicated sporangia or hyphal compartments for asexual reproduction. The majority of holocarpic oomycetes are obligate parasites and parasitoids of a diverse suite of organisms, among them green and red algae, brown seaweeds, diatoms, fungi, oomycetes and invert...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the course of global climate change, central Europe is experiencing more frequent and prolonged periods of drought. The drought years 2018 and 2019 affected European beeches ( Fagus sylvatica L.) differently: even in the same stand, drought damaged trees neighboured healthy trees, suggesting that the genotype rather than the environment was resp...
Article
Full-text available
The downy mildew species parasitic to Mentheae are of particular interest, as this tribe of Lamiaceae contains a variety of important medicinal plants and culinary herbs. Over the past two decades, two pathogens, Peronospora belbahrii and Pe. salviae-officinalis have spread globally, impacting basil and common sage production, respectively. In the...
Article
Full-text available
Peronospora belbahrii is one of the most destructive downy mildew diseases that has emerged throughout the past two decades. Due to the lack of quarantine regulations and its possible seed-borne nature, it has spread globally and is now present in most areas in which basil is produced. While most obligate biotrophic, plant parasitic oomycetes are h...
Preprint
Full-text available
The constitution and regulation of effector repertoires determines and shapes the outcome of the interaction with the host. Ustilago maydis and Sporisorium reilianum are two closely related smut fungi, which both infect maize, but cause distinct disease symptoms. Understanding how effector orthologs are regulated in these two pathogens can therefor...
Article
Full-text available
It is common practice in scientific journals to print genus and species names in italics. This is not only historical as species names were traditionally derived from Greek or Latin. Importantly, it also facilitates the rapid recognition of genus and species names when skimming through manuscripts. However, names above the genus level are not alway...
Preprint
Full-text available
The biotrophic pathogen Ustilago maydis causes smut disease on maize ( Zea mays ) and induces the formation of tumours on all aerial parts of the plant. Unlike in other biotrophic interactions, no gene-for-gene interactions have been identified in the maize- U. maydis pathosystem. Thus, maize resistance to U. maydis is considered a polygenic, quant...
Article
Full-text available
Ramaria kafaensis spec. nov., a hitherto undescribed species from coffee forests of Ethiopia is introduced on the basis of fruit body morphology, microscopical characteristics and ITS-based phylogenetics. Phylogenetics and the bluish-grey reaction on TL4 indicate a close relationship to monotypic genus Schildia. However, the new species is describe...
Article
Full-text available
The website http://outlineoffungi.org, is launched to provide a continuous up-to-date classification of the kingdom Fungi (including fossil fungi) and fungus-like taxa. This is based on 1516 recent publications and on the outline of fungi and fungus-like taxa published recently (Mycosphere 11, 1060-1456, Doi: 10.5943/mycosphere/11/1/8). The website...
Article
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Estuarine saprotrophic oomycetes are a group of eukaryotic, fungal-like protists of the Kingdom Straminipila. Species classified as estuarine oomycetes are commonly present on mangrove leaf litter and saltmarsh plant debris. They are distributed over several families (i.e. Peronosporaceae, Pythiaceae, Salisapiliaceae, and Salispinaceae). It is esti...
Article
Full-text available
Peronospora aquilegiicola is a destructive pathogen of columbines and has wiped out most Aquilegia cultivars in several private and public gardens throughout Britain. The pathogen, which is native to East Asia was noticed in England and Wales in 2013 and quickly spread through the country, probably by infested plants or seeds. To our knowledge, the...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past 15 years, downy mildew became the most destructive foliar disease in cultivated Impatiens species (Balsaminaceae) worldwide. A previous study had revealed that the causal agent was not Plasmopara obducens (Oomycota, Peronosporales) but Plasmopara destructor on Impatiens walleriana, and Plasmopara velutina on Impatiens balsamina. This...
Article
Full-text available
True fungi (Fungi) and fungus-like organisms (e.g. Mycetozoa, Oomycota) constitute the second largest group of organisms based on global richness estimates, with around 3 million predicted species. Compared to plants and animals, fungi have simple body plans with often morphologically and ecologically obscure structures. This poses challenges for a...
Article
Full-text available
Microthlaspi erraticum is widely distributed in temperate Eurasia, but restricted to Ca2+-rich habitats, predominantly on white Jurassic limestone, which is made up by calcium carbonate, with little other minerals. Thus, naturally occurring Microthlaspi erraticum individuals are confronted with a high concentration of Ca2+ ions while Mg2+ ion conce...
Article
Full-text available
Holocarpic oomycetes are ubiquitous especially in marine and freshwater environments. These organisms are mostly obligate biotrophic parasites and members of the deep-branching, early-diverging clades of the Oomycota, comprising of several genera that had their phylogenetic position only recently investigated (Miracula, Olpidiopsis, Eurychasma, Hap...