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Research topics

The topic of our interest above all are evolutionary old lineages of land fungi (Mucoromycota) as well as their widely comprehended interactions with bacteria. Mucorales (Mucoromycota) are commonly found in various habitats all around the world. The vast majority of them are organisms which degrade dead organic matter. In recent years it has been discovered that the hyphae of some Mucorales may contain bacteria on the inside. However, the diversity and factors influencing the frequency of occurrence or the effect on the host of these bacteria remains poorly understood. Our team studies not only the evolution and ecology, but also the physiology of this Fungi group. We are interested in particular in their adaptations to extreme environments (Arctic, Antarctic, oil reservoirs in Iran, contaminated soil). Our research is carried out using classical culturing methods as well as the newest molecular methods or bioinformatic tools.

Moreover, we (mgr Michał Gorczak) focus on the evolution and diversity of predaceous fungi, with a particular interest in Laboulbeniomycetes – a group of Ascomycota – which aside from highly specialised parasites of Arthropods includes parasites of other fungi as well.

Specialised equipment

Specialised soil laboratory (safety standard BSL-3); laminar chamber Alpina BIO100, NIKON Eclipse-200 microscope with an installed camera and software for image analysis; molecular biology laboratory equipment, SpectroStar Nano 96-well plate reader with incubation temperature regulation.


Standard microbiology and molecular biology protocols; bioinformatic gene, genome and metagenome analysis; phylogenetic analysis based on molecular data; physiological tests; standard field work methods utilised in mycological research.

Conducted research projects

  • NCBR Tango-IV-C/0005/2019: Biostarters development for dry aged beef production (leader: Julia Pawłowska)
  • NCN OPUS 13 nr 2017/25/B/NZ8/00473 (2017-2021): Influence of soil contamination on the occurence and diversity of Mucoromycota and their endosymbiotic bacteria (leader: Julia Pawłowska) >
  • Iranian ICRP nr 364 (3/7/2019) (2019-2022): Phylogenetic and Evolutionary Study of mucoralean fungi from Iran with bioremediation potential for oil contaminated soils (leader: Somayeh Dolatabadi)
  • The spread of Aureoboletus projectellus in Europe

Completed research projects

  • MNiSW nr DNM/SP/468952/2020 (2020-2021): Protected mushrooms of Poland (leader: Anna Kujawa)
  • NCN SONATA nr 2015/17/D/NZ8/00778 (2015-2019):Evolution of carbon assimilation abilities within Mucorales representatives (leader: Julia Pawłowska)
  • MNiSW nr DI2014012344: Phylogenetic classification of Laboulbeniales in the light of evolution of other entomopathogenic fungi (leader: Michał Gorczak).
  • Iranian National Science Foundation nr 96003337 (2016-2019): Phylogenetic and evolutionary study of black yeasts from Iran with bioremediation potential for oil- contaminated soils (leader: Somayeh Dolatabadi)
  • MNiSW nr N303 548839 (2010-2014): Phylogenetics and taxonomy of Thamnidiaceae based on morphological, molecular and physiological data (leader: Bożena Zakryś)

Publications review


Muszewska, Anna; Okrasińska, Alicja; Steczkiewicz, Kamil; Drgas, Olga; Orłowska, Małgorzata; Perlińska-Lenart, Urszula; Aleksandrzak-Piekarczyk, Tamara; Szatraj, Katarzyna; Zielenkiewicz, Urszula; Piłsyk, Sebastian; Malc, Ewa; Mieczkowski, Piotr; Kruszewska, Joanna S; Bernat, Przemysław; Pawłowska, Julia

Metabolic Potential, Ecology and Presence of Associated Bacteria Is Reflected in Genomic Diversity of Mucoromycotina Journal Article

Frontiers in Microbiology, 12 , pp. 239, 2021.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Okrasińska, Alicja; Bokus, Aleksandra; Duk, Katarzyna; Gęsiorska, Aleksandra; Sokołowska, Blanka; Miłobędzka, Aleksandra; Wrzosek, Marta; Pawłowska, Julia

New Endohyphal Relationships between Mucoromycota and Burkholderiaceae Representatives Journal Article

Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 87 (7), 2021, ISSN: 0099-2240.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX


Pawłowska, Julia; Okrasińska, Alicja; Kisło, Kamil; Aleksandrzak-Piekarczyk, Tamara; Szatraj, Katarzyna; Dolatabadi, Somayeh; Muszewska, Anna

Carbon assimilation profiles of mucoralean fungi show their metabolic versatility Journal Article

Scientific Reports, 9 , pp. 11864, 2019.

Links | BibTeX

Banasiak, Łukasz; Pietras, Marcin; Wrzosek, Marta; Okrasińska, Alicja; Gorczak, Michał; Kolanowska, Marta; Pawłowska, Julia

Aureoboletus projectellus (Fungi, Boletales) – An American bolete rapidly spreading in Europe as a new model species for studying expansion of macrofungi Journal Article

Fungal Ecology, 39 , pp. 94 - 99, 2019, ISSN: 1754-5048.

Links | BibTeX


Pawłowska, Julia; Istel, Łukasz; Gorczak, Michał; Galera, Halina; Wrzosek, Marta; Hawksworth, David L

Psychronectria hyperantarctica, gen. nov., comb. nov., epitypification and phylogenetic position of an Antarctic bryophilous ascomycete Journal Article

Mycologia, 109 (4), pp. 601—607, 2017, ISSN: 0027-5514.

Links | BibTeX