Microorganisms are tiny, yet crucial organism that cycle our planets resources and keep our biosphere balanced. By doing this, they provide countless ecosystem services. Microbes clean our wastewater, detoxify pollutants, generate biogas and biomass, provide nutrients, ferment food, and decompose polymeric substances. Thus, microbes are in the center of transformation processes in natural and engineered systems.

The specific microbial community of a niche and its genepool is called the microbiome. The microbiome composition is important for the functional versatility and the efficiency of the niche’s ecology. We are interested in the microbiomes of engineered and natural water treatment systems, and their functions. It is surprising, how little we know on the microbial communities in the environment, which is why we sometimes refer to it as microbial dark matter. We are currently developing tools (for databases and for single cells) that specifically target the unknown microbes of a microbiome.

In addition, we are currently establishing a small culture collection by high throughput mixed culturing with the goal to target the untapped potential of these poorly described lineages from urban waters. These cultures have the potential to remove pollutants such as trace organic chemicals, and thus may hold the key for applied bioremediation processes.

Microbes possess an array of enzymes for the degradation of all kinds of substances ranging from high molecular weights polymers to low molecular weight aromatic compounds. Fungi are one group of microorganism that produces very efficient exoenzymes that breakdown recalcitrant organic matter. Aquatic fungi in particular are an interesting target group, which are largely unexplored, and which may facilitate enzymatic transformations of pollutants in wastewater reactors.

 

Latest Publications

  • Hübner, Uwe; Wurzbacher, Christian; Helbling, Damian E.; Drewes, Jörg E.: Engineering of managed aquifer recharge systems to optimize biotransformation of trace organic chemicals. Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health 27, 2022, 100343 more…
  • Cao, Lijia; Wolff, David; Liguori, Renato; Wurzbacher, Christian; Wick, Arne: Microbial Biomass, Composition, and Functions Are Responsible for the Differential Removal of Trace Organic Chemicals in Biofiltration Systems: A Batch Study. Frontiers in Water 4, 2022 more…
  • Abarenkov, Kessy; Kristiansson, Erik; Ryberg, Martin; Nogal-Prata, Sandra; Gómez-Martínez, Daniela; Stüer-Patowsky, Katrin; Jansson, Tobias; Põlme, Sergei; Ghobad-Nejhad, Masoomeh; Corcoll, Natàlia; Scharn, Ruud; Sánchez-García, Marisol; Khomich, Maryia; Wurzbacher, Christian; Nilsson, R. Henrik: The curse of the uncultured fungus. MycoKeys 86, 2022, 177-194 more…
  • Mitranescu, Alexander; Uchaikina, Anna; Kau, Anna-Sonia; Stange, Claudia; Ho, Johannes; Tiehm, Andreas; Wurzbacher, Christian; Drewes, Jörg E.: Wastewater-Based Epidemiology for SARS-CoV-2 Biomarkers: Evaluation of Normalization Methods in Small and Large Communities in Southern Germany. ACS ES&T Water, 2022 more…
  • Roßmann, Katalyn; Großmann, Gerd; Frangoulidis, Dimitrios; Clasen, Rüttger; Münch, Manuel; Hasenknopf, Manfred; Wurzbacher, Christian; Tiehm, Andreas; Stange, Claudia; Ho, Johannes; Woermann, Marion; Drewes, Jörg E.: Innovatives SARS-CoV-2-Krisenmanagement im öffentlichen Gesundheitswesen: Corona-Dashboard und Abwasserfrühwarnsystem am Beispiel Berchtesgadener Land. Bundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz 65 (3), 2021, 367-377 more…
  • Roßmann, Katalyn; Großmann, Gerd; Frangoulidis, Dimitrios; Clasen, Rüttger; Münch, Manuel; Hasenknopf, Manfred; Wurzbacher, Christian; Tiehm, Andreas; Stange, Claudia; Ho, Johannes; Woermann, Marion; Drewes, Jörg E.: Innovatives SARS-CoV-2-Krisenmanagement im öffentlichen Gesundheitswesen: Corona-Dashboard und Abwasserfrühwarnsystem am Beispiel Berchtesgadener Land. Bundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz, 2021 more…
  • Voigt, Kerstin; James, Timothy Y.; Kirk, Paul M.; Santiago, André L. C. M. de A.; Waldman, Bruce; Griffith, Gareth W.; Fu, Minjie; Radek, Renate; Strassert, Jürgen F. H.; Wurzbacher, Christian; Jerônimo, Gustavo Henrique; Simmons, David R.; Seto, Kensuke; Gentekaki, Eleni; Hurdeal, Vedprakash G.; Hyde, Kevin D.; Nguyen, Thuong T. T.; Lee, Hyang Burm: Early-diverging fungal phyla: taxonomy, species concept, ecology, distribution, anthropogenic impact, and novel phylogenetic proposals. Fungal Diversity 109 (1), 2021, 59-98 more…
  • Kluge, Mariana; Wurzbacher, Christian; Wauthy, Maxime; Clemmensen, Karina Engelbrecht; Hawkes, Jeffrey Alistair; Einarsdottir, Karolina; Stenlid, Jan; Peura, Sari: Community composition of aquatic fungi across the thawing Arctic. Scientific Data 8 (1), 2021 more…
  • Strassert, Jürgen F. H.; Wurzbacher, Christian; Hervé, Vincent; Antany, Taraha; Brune, Andreas; Radek, Renate: Long rDNA amplicon sequencing of insect-infecting nephridiophagids reveals their affiliation to the Chytridiomycota and a potential to switch between hosts. Scientific Reports 11 (1), 2021 more…
  • Kluge, Mariana; Wauthy, Maxime; Clemmensen, Karina Engelbrecht; Wurzbacher, Christian; Hawkes, Jeffrey A.; Einarsdottir, Karolina; Rautio, Milla; Stenlid, Jan; Peura, Sari: Declining fungal diversity in Arctic freshwaters along a permafrost thaw gradient. Global Change Biology 27 (22), 2021, 5889-5906 more…
  • Heeger, Felix; Bourne, Elizabeth C.; Wurzbacher, Christian; Funke, Elisabeth; Lipzen, Anna; He, Guifen; Ng, Vivian; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Schlosser, Dietmar; Monaghan, Michael T.: Evidence for Lignocellulose-Decomposing Enzymes in the Genome and Transcriptome of the Aquatic Hyphomycete Clavariopsis aquatica. Journal of Fungi 7 (10), 2021, 854 more…
  • Roßmann, K.; Großmann, G.; Frangoulidis, D.; Clasen, R.; Münch, M.; Hasenknopf, M.; Wurzbacher, C.; Tiehm, A.; Stange, C.; Ho, J.; Woermann, M.: Innovative SARS-CoV-2 crisis management in the public health sector: Corona dashboard and wastewater surveillance using the example of Berchtesgadener Land, Germany. Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz, 2021 more…
  • Roßmann, Katalyn; Großmann, Gerd; Frangoulidis, Dimitrios; Clasen, Rüttger; Münch, Manuel; Hasenknopf, Manfred; Wurzbacher, Christian; Tiehm, Andreas; Stange, Claudia; Ho, Johannes; Woermann, Marion; Drewes, Jörg E.: Innovatives SARS-CoV-2-Krisenmanagement im öffentlichen Gesundheitswesen: Corona-Dashboard und Abwasserfrühwarnsystem am Beispiel Berchtesgadener Land. Bundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz, 2021 more…
  • Liguori, Renato; Rommel, Steffen H; Bengtsson-Palme, Johan; Helmreich, Brigitte; Wurzbacher, Christian: Microbial retention and resistances in stormwater quality improvement devices treating road runoff. FEMS Microbes 2, 2021 more…
  • Rossmann, Katalyn; Clasen, Rüttger; Münch, Manuel; Wurzbacher, Christian; Tiehm, Andreas; Drewes, Jörg E.: SARS-CoV-2 Crisis Management With a Wastewater Early-Warning System in the Bavarian District of Berchtesgadener Land, Germany. Deutsches Ärzteblatt international, 2021 more…
  • Ho, Johannes; Stange, Claudia; Suhrborg, Rabea; Wurzbacher, Christian; Drewes, Joerg E.; Tiehm Andreas: SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance in Germany: Long-term RT-digital droplet PCR monitoring, suitability of primer/probe combinations and biomarker stability. Water Research, 2021 more…
  • Drewes, J.E., Tiehm, A., Wurzbacher, C., Stange, C., Ho, J., Mitranescu, A., Uchaikina, A., Kau, S., Thronicker, O., Hasenknopf, M.: BMBF Biomarker Cov2 Verbundvorhaben. EU Vorhaben ESI-CorA. Begleitkreistreffen. 26. November 2021, 2021 more…
  • Nawaz, A.; Wurzbacher, C.: Back to the Future: Exploration and Identification of Aquatic Fungi. Symposium for European Freshwater Science. July 2021, online, 2021 more…
  • Sperle, P.; Drewes, J.; Wurzbacher, C.; Skibinski, B.: UVC-LED based pretreatment for biofouling control in desalination processes with thin-film composite membranes. International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications. April 2022, online, 2021 more…
  • Stüer-Patowsky, K.; Gega, E.; Wurzbacher, C.: Progressive Succession of Fungi in Biofilms of Down-flow Hanging Sponge Reactors. World Microbe Forum. June 2021, poster online, 2021 more…