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About Mathias Brands

Role of lipids in immune signaling and nutrition during symbiotic plant-microbe interactions

In his research, Mathias Brands focuses on the functions that lipids have during symbiotic plant-microbe interactions. Mathias obtained his doctoral degree (Dr. rer. nat.) at the University of Bonn in 2019 where he investigated lipid transfer between plants and arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi using experimental approaches from molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry and mass spectrometry.

Lipids are essential components of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. They make up the plasma membrane, the intracellular membranes and function in signal transduction and stress signaling. As synthesis of lipids and fatty acids is highly energy demanding, uptake of lipids as nutrition is a common feature found in various organisms. In addition, lipids function as signals during plant-microbe interactions. In his current research as a postdoc in the lab of Alga Zuccaro at the University of Cologne, Mathias is investigating lipids and lipases from the beneficial root endophytic fungi Serendipita indica and Serendipita vermifera during symbiosis with the host plants Arabidopsis thaliana and Hordeum vulgare (barley).