Research Fellow


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Research Profiles

Co Supervisor
Wilma Nel

 I am specifically interested in the biochemical and ecological driving forces of organismal adaptation. During my PhD I studied the biosynthesis of anti-fungal compounds in conifers and also how tree pathogens could circumvent these defense mechanisms. I continued this line of inquiry during my post-doctoral studies on a larger group of organisms including poplar and Arabidopsis and their major pathogens. Currently I am focusing on the genus Ceratocystis, where I am studying the biochemical drivers of host specificity, natural product biosynthesis as well as fungal interactions with host plants and insect vectors.

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Book Chapters
González-Cabanelas D, Hammerbacher A, Raguschke B, Gershenzon J, Wright LP. 2016. Quantifying the Metabolites of the Methylerythritol4-Phosphate (MEP) Pathway in Plants and Bacteria by Liquid Chromatography–Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry. In: METHODS IN ENZYMOLOGY Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering in Plants and Microbes. Academic Press, Amsterdam, pp 225-246.
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Bettina Ohse, Almuth Hammerbacher, Carolin Seele, Stefan Meldau, Michael Reichelt, Sylvia Ortmann, Christian Wirth. (2017) Salivary cues: simulated roe deer browsing induces systemic changes in phytohormones and defence chemistry in wild‐grown maple and beech saplings. Functional Ecology 31(2):340-349.
Franziska Eberl, Almuth Hammerbacher, Jonathan Gershenzon, Sybille B Unsicker. (2017) Leaf rust infection reduces herbivore‐induced volatile emission in black poplar and attracts a generalist herbivore. New Phytologist In press
Jianbei Huang, Almuth Hammerbacher, Lenka Forkelová, Henrik Hartmann. (2017) Release of resource constraints allows greater carbon allocation to secondary metabolites and storage in winter wheat. Plant, cell & environment 40(5):672-685.
Jianbei Huang, Michael Reichelt, Somak Chowdhury, Almuth Hammerbacher, Henrik Hartmann. (2017) Increasing carbon availability stimulates growth and secondary metabolites via modulation of phytohormones in winter wheat. Journal of Experimental Botany 68(5):1251-1263.
Kerstin Dalman, Julia Johanna Wind, Miguel Nemesio-Gorriz, Almuth Hammerbacher, Karl Lundén, Ines Ezcurra, Malin Elfstrand. (2017) Overexpression of PaNAC03, a stress induced NAC gene family transcription factor in Norway spruce leads to reduced flavonol biosynthesis and aberrant embryo development. BMC plant biology 17(1):6.
Miguel Nemesio-Gorriz, Peter B Blair, Kerstin Dalman, Almuth Hammerbacher, Jenny Arnerup, Jan Stenlid, Shahid M Mukhtar, Malin Elfstrand. (2017) Identification of Norway Spruce MYB-bHLH-WDR Transcription Factor Complex Members Linked to Regulation of the Flavonoid Pathway. Frontiers in Plant Science 8
Wingfield BD, Duong TA, Hammerbacher A, van der Nest MA, Wilson A, Chang R, de Beer ZW, Steenkamp ET, Wilken PM, Naidoo K, Wingfield MJ. (2016) IMA Genome-F 7 Draft genome sequences for Ceratocystis fagacearum, C. harringtonii, Grosmannia penicillata, and Huntiella bhutanensis. IMA Fungus 7(2):317-323. 10.5598/imafungus.2016.07.02.11 PDF
Kandasamy D, Gershenzon J, Hammerbacher A. (2016) Volatile organic compounds emitted by fungal associates of conifer bark beetles and their potential in bark beetle control. Journal of Chemical Ecology :1-18. 10.1007/s10886-016-0768-x PDF
Wingfield BD, Ambler JM, Coetzee MPA, De Beer ZW, Duong TA, Joubert F, Hammerbacher A, McTaggart AR, Naidoo K, Nguyen HDT, Ponomareva E, Santana QS, Seifert KA, Steenkamp ET, Trollip C, Van der Nest MA, Visagie CM, Wilken PM, Wingfield MJ, Yilmaz N. (2016) IMA Genome-F 6: Draft genome sequences of Armillaria fuscipes, Ceratocystiopsis minuta, Ceratocystis adiposa, Endoconidiophora laricicola, E. polonica and Penicillium freii DAOMC 242723. IMA Fungus 7(1):217-227. 10.5598/imafungus.2016.07.01.11 PDF
Huber M, Gershenzon J, Preite V, Verhoeven P, Robert C, Triebwasser-Freeze D, Hammerbacher A, Vogel H, Koellner TG, Swyers M, Brillaz T, Aziz Z, Fricke J, Gronover CS, Epping J, Erb M. (2016) A latex metabolite benefits plant fitness under root herbivore attack. PLoS Biology e1002332. PDF
Nemesio-Gorriz M, Hammerbacher A, Ihrmark K, Källman T, Olsen A, Lascoux M, Stenlid J, Gershenzon J, Elfstrand M. (2016) Different alleles of a gene encoding leucoanthocyanidin reductase (PaLAR3) influence resistance against the fungus Heterobasidion parviporum in Picea abies. . Plant Physiology 171(4):2671-2681.
Paetz C, Hammerbacher A, Menezes RC, Feistel F, Weigel C, Voigt K, Schneider B. (2016) Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of Populus nigra shoot resin. Natural Product Communications 11(7):989-992.
Wadke N, Kandasamy D, Vogel H, Lah L, Wingfield BD, Paetz C, Wright LP, Gershenzon J, Hammerbacher A. (2016) Catechol dioxygenases catalyzing the first step in Norway spruce phenolic degradation are key virulence factors in the bark beetle-vectored fungus Endoconidiophora polonica. . Plant Physiology 171(2):914-931.
Crous PW, Wingfield MJ, Guarro J, Hernandez-Restrepo M, Sutton DA, Acharya K, Barber PA, Boekhout T, Dimitrov RA, Duenas M, Dutta AK, Gene J, Gouliamova DE, Groenewald M, Lombard L, Morozova OV, Sarkar J, Smith MTh, Stchigel AM, Wiederhold NP, Alexandrova AV, Antelmi I, Armengol J, Barnes I, Cano-Lira JF, Castaneda Ruiz RF, Contu M, Courtecuisse PrR, Da Silveira AL, Decock CA, De Goes A, Edathodu J, Ercole E, Firmino AC, Fourie A, Fournier J, Furtado EL, Geering ADW, Gershenzon J, Giraldo A, Gramaje D, Hammerbacher A, He X-L, Haryadi D, Khemmuk W, Kovalenko AE, Krawczynski R, Laich F, Lechat C, Lopes UP, Madrid H, Malysheva EF, Marin-Felix Y, Martin MP, Mostert L, Nigro F, Pereira OL, Picillo B, Pinho DB, Popov ES, Rodas Pelaez CA, Rooney-Latham S, Sandoval-Denis M, Shivas RG, Silva V, Stoilova-Disheva MM, Telleria MT, Ullah C, Unsicker SB, Van der Merwe NA, Vizzini A, Wagner H-G, Wong PTW, Wood AR, Groenewald JZ. (2015) Fungal Planet description sheets: 320–370. Persoonia 34:167-266. 10.3767/003158515X688433
Hammerbacher A, Paetz C, Wright LP, Fischer TC, Bohlmann J, Davis AJ, Fenning TM, Gershenzon J, Schmidt A. (2014) Flavan-3-ols in Norway spruce: Biosynthesis, accumulation and function in response to attack by the bark beetle-associated fungus Ceratocystis polonica. Plant Physiology 164:2107-2122. PDF
Moctezuma C, Hammerbacher A, Heil M, Gershenzon J, Mendez-Alonso R, Oyama K. (2014) Specific polyphenols and tannins are associated with defense against insect herbivores in the tropical oak Quercus oleoides. Journal of Chemical Ecology 40:458-467.
Wright LP, Rhover JM, Ghirardo A, Hammerbacher A, Ortiz-Alcaide M, Raguschke B, Schnizler JP, Gershenzon J, Phillips M. (2014) Deoxyxylulose 5-phosphate synthase controls flux through the methylerythritol 4-phosphate pathway in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology 165:1488-1504.
Hammerbacher A, Gershenzon J, Fenning TM, Brand W, Bohlmann J, Schneider B, Wright LP, Wadke N, Schmidt A, Paetz C. (2013) A common fungal associate of the spruce bark beetle metabolizes the stilbene defenses of Norway spruce. Plant Physiology 162:1324-1236. PDF
Beyaert I, Koepke D, Stiller J, Hammerbacher A, Yoneya K, Schmidt A, Gershenzon J, Hilker M. (2012) Can insect egg deposition 'warn' a plant of future feeding damage by herbivorous larvae?. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 279:101-108.
Li SH, Nagy NA, Hammerbacher A, Krokene P, Niu XM, Gershenzon J, Schneider B. (2012) Localization of phenolics in phloem parenchyma cells of Norway spruce (Picea abies). ChemBioChem 13:2707-2713.
Schiebe C, Hammerbacher A, Birgersson G, Witzell J, Bordelius P, Gershenzon J, Hansson B, Krokene P, Schlyter F. (2012) Inducibility of chemical defenses in Norway spruce bark is correlated with unsuccessful mass attacks by the spruce bark beetle. Oekologia 170:183-189.
Hammerbacher A, Ralph SG, Bohlmann J, Fenning TM, Gershenzon J, Schmidt A. (2011) Biosynthesis of the major tetrahydroxystilbenes in spruce, astringin and isorhapontin, proceeds via resveratrol and is enhanced by fungal infection. Plant Physiology 157:876-890. PDF
Hammerbacher A, Wright LP, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, Coutinho TA. (2009) Factors affecting pine pitch canker modelled on Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Botany 87(1):36-42. 10.1139/B08-129 PDF
Wingfield MJ, Hammerbacher A, Ganley RJ, Steenkamp ET, Gordon TR, Wingfield BD, Coutinho TA. (2008) Pitch canker caused by Fusarium circinatum - A growing threat to pine plantations and forests worldwide. Australasian Plant Pathology 37(4):319-334. 10.1071/AP08036 PDF