Göttinger Graduiertenschule für Neurowissenschaften, Biophysik und Molekulare Biowissenschaften

Seiler, Stephan, Dr. #

Junior Group Leader at the Centre for Molecular Physiology of the Brain, University of Göttingen


  • Dr. rer. nat. (Ph.D.) at the University of Munich, 1999
  • Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, USA, 2000-2001
  • Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Munich, 2002
  • Since 2003 head of an independent Junior Research Group



Major Research Interests

Determining and maintaining cell shape is a fundamental prerequisite for proper development of any organism. Tip growing organisms are prime examples of polar growth, thus making filamentous fungi an attractive system to study general and conserved mechanisms underlying cellular morphogenesis. Filamentous fungi therefore represent a simple and powerful model to study the development of highly elongated eukaryotic cells such as neurons. In addition to their use as model organisms to understand basic cellular concepts, filamentous fungi are of unusual economic importance. Understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling hyphal growth is necessary to both decrease the detrimental effects of fungi on plants and animals and to enhance the ability of fungi to produce important products. Using the model fungi Neurospora crassa and Aspergillus nidulans, our group is interested in understanding regulatory components of the cytoskeleton that are important to generate and maintain this high degree of polar cell shape. Equally important is the analysis of molecular motor proteins that allow the distribution of vesicular organelles within the hypha, transport secretory vesicles towards the growing tip and are necessary for localizing specific landmark proteins that determine the site of polar growth. The analysis of this transport machinery in a genetically, cell biological and biochemical accessible fungal system will help us to distinguish the special needs in these highly elongated cells from transport processes in spherical cells.



Selected Recent Publications


  • Borkovich KA et al. (2004) Lessons from the genome sequence of Neurospora crassa: Tracing the path from genomic blueprint to multicellular organism. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 68: 1-108
  • Seiler S, Plamann M (2003) The genetic basis of cellular morphogenesis in the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. Mol Biol Cell 14: 4352-4364
  • Galagan JE et al. (2003) The genome sequence of the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. Nature 422: 859-868
  • Seiler S, Kirchner J, Horn C, Kallipolitou A, Woehlke G, Schliwa M (2000) Cargo binding and regulatory sites in the tail of fungal konventional kinesin. Nature Cell Biol 2: 333-338
  • Kirchner J, Seiler S, Fuchs S, Schliwa M (1999) Functional anatomy of the kinesin molecule in vivo. EMBO J 18: 4404-4413
  • Seiler S, Nargang FE, Steinberg G, Schliwa M (1997) Kinesin is essential for cell morphogenesis and polarized secretion in Neurospora crassa. EMBO J 16: 3025-3034