Fungi play a key role in terrestrial biogeochemical cycles as they are the primary decomposers of the complex organic matter present in soils. They are also involved in the dissolution and biogenesis of minerals in soils and substantially contribute to soil structure formation through the secretion of extracellular polymeric substances and through the binding of soil through their belowground mycelia. Whereas much attention is being paid to quantifying pools and fluxes of carbon a nutrients in soils at an ecosystem level, the microbial molecular mechanisms that are responsible for driving these processes are still poorly understood and are typically treated as a black box. In my research, I seek to obtain a better mechanistic understanding of the interactions between fungi and soils at a microscopic and molecular level to shed light on this black box. For this purpose, I have been developing spectroscopic microscopy methods that allow the chemical interactions between fungal cells and soil to be visualised in situ. Currently, I am particularly interested in how and to what extent fungal extracellular polymeric substance matrices (the slime layer that surrounds fungal cells) are involved in soil organic matter decomposition, and interactions with minerals. Recent evidence suggests that these fungal slime layers play a much more important role in altering the rates at which various soil processes proceed than has previously been appreciated. Improving our understanding of soil microbial processes, in turn, can help inform models that seek to predict and quantify future changes in soil carbon and nutrient pools and fluxes in response to a changing climate.
I have been studying the interactions between fungi and soils since my PhD studies from 2009 to 2014. During my PhD, I investigated the effects of heavy metal pollution in soils on fungal community structures and the molecular mechanisms that evolved in soil-dwelling fungi to survive high concentrations of toxic metals. Since 2014, I started working as a post-doc at Lund University. During my post-doctoral research, I started investigating the mechanisms fungi use to decompose soil organic matter and dissolve iron oxide minerals using a range of spectroscopic microscopy techniques.
Displaying of publications. Sorted by year, then title.
Rotation cropping and organic fertilizer jointly promote soil health and crop productionYonglei Jiang, Jing Zhang, Delgado-baquerizo Manuel, Michiel Op De Beeck, Muhammad Shahbaz, et al.
(2022) Journal of Environmental Management, 315
Ectomycorrhizal Fungal Transformation of Dissolved Organic Matter : Consequences for Reductive Iron Oxide Dissolution and Fenton-Based Oxidation of Mineral-Associated Organic MatterLelde Krumina, Michiel Op De Beeck, Viktoriia Meklesh, Anders Tunlid, Per Persson
(2022) Frontiers in Earth Science, 10
Simultaneous Measurements of Dissolved Organic Carbon and Soil Respiration Reveal Reduced Soil Carbon Loss Under Nitrogen Addition in a Montane ForestTao Wang, Jing Ao, Xinyu Liu, Yuanrui Peng, Michiel Op de Beeck, et al.
(2022) Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 127
Decomposition of soil organic matter by ectomycorrhizal fungi : Mechanisms and consequences for organic nitrogen uptake and soil carbon stabilizationAnders Tunlid, Dimitrios Floudas, Michiel Op De Beeck, Tao Wang, Per Persson
(2022) Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 5
Journal article review
Fungal extracellular polymeric substance matrices – Highly specialized microenvironments that allow fungi to control soil organic matter decomposition reactionsMichiel Op De Beeck, Per Persson, Anders Tunlid
(2021) Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 159
Journal article review
Secretion of iron(III)-reducing metabolites during protein acquisition by the ectomycorrhizal fungus paxillus involutusFiroz Shah, Markus Gressler, Susan Nehzati, Michiel Op De Beeck, Luigi Gentile, et al.
(2021) Microorganisms, 9
Regulation of fungal decomposition at single-cell levelMichiel Op De Beeck, Carl Troein, Syahril Siregar, Luigi Gentile, Giuseppe Abbondanza, et al.
(2020) ISME Journal, 14 p.896-905
OCTAVVS : A graphical toolbox for high-throughput preprocessing and analysis of vibrational spectroscopy imaging dataCarl Troein, Syahril Siregar, Michiel Op De Beeck, Carsten Peterson, Anders Tunlid, et al.
(2020) Methods and Protocols, 3 p.1-15
Fenton reaction facilitates organic nitrogen acquisition by an ectomycorrhizal fungusMichiel Op De Beeck, Carl Troein, Carsten Peterson, Per Persson, Anders Tunlid
(2018) New Phytologist, 218 p.335-343
The SlZRT1 gene encodes a Plasma membrane-located ZIP (Zrt-, Irt-Like Protein) transporter in the ectomycorrhizal fungus Suillus luteusLaura Coninx, Anneleen Thoonen, Eli Slenders, Emmanuelle Morin, Natascha Arnauts, et al.
(2017) Frontiers in Microbiology, 8
Comparative evaluation of four bacteria-specific primer pairs for 16S rRNA gene surveysSofie Thijs, Michiel Op De Beeck, Bram Beckers, Sascha Truyens, Vincent Stevens, et al.
(2017) Frontiers in Microbiology, 8
Structural variability and niche differentiation in the rhizosphere and endosphere bacterial microbiome of field-grown poplar treesBram Beckers, Michiel Op De Beeck, Nele Weyens, Wout Boerjan, Jaco Vangronsveld
(2017) Microbiome, 5
Performance of 16s rDNA Primer Pairs in the Study of Rhizosphere and Endosphere Bacterial Microbiomes in Metabarcoding StudiesBram Beckers, Michiel Op de Beeck, Sofie Thijs, Sascha Truyens, Nele Weyens, et al.
(2016) Frontiers in Microbiology, 7
Lignin engineering in field-grown poplar trees affects the endosphere bacterial microbiome.Bram Beckers, Michiel Op De Beeck, Nele Weyens, Rebecca Van Acker, Marc Van Montagu, et al.
(2016) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113 p.2312-2317
Comparison between cultivated and total bacterial communities associated with Cucurbita pepo using cultivation-dependent techniques and 454 pyrosequencing.N Eevers, B Beckers, Michiel Op De Beeck, J C White, J Vangronsveld, et al.
(2015) Systematic and Applied Microbiology
Impact of metal pollution on fungal diversity and community structuresMichiel Op De Beeck, Bart Lievens, Pieter Busschaert, Francois Rineau, Mark Smits, et al.
(2015) Environmental Microbiology, 17 p.47-2035
Belowground fungal communities in pioneer Scots pine stands growing on heavy metal polluted and non-polluted soilsMichiel Op de Beeck, Joske Ruytinx, Mark Smits, Jaco Vangronsveld, Jan V. Colpaert
(2015) Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 86 p.58-66
Comparison and validation of some ITS primer pairs useful for fungal metabarcoding studiesMichiel Op De Beeck, Bart Lievens, Pieter Busschaert, Stéphan Declerck, Jaco Vangronsveld, et al.
(2014) PLoS ONE, 9
Zinc export results in adaptive zinc tolerance in the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Suillus bovinusJoske Ruytinx, Hoai Nguyen, May Van Hees, Michiel Op De Beeck, Jaco Vangronsveld, et al.
(2013) Metallomics, 5 p.33-1225