Michael Weiß

Dr. rer. nat. habil., Dipl.-Math.

Associate Professor, Department of Biology


Studies in biology and mathematics (state exam in maths and biology; Dipl.-Math.) with Franz Oberwinkler and Peter Schmid


Habilitation in Botany and Molecular Phylogenetics


Temporary Professor and Head, Group of Organismic Botany, from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2012.

Research Interests

Biodiversity, molecular phylogeny and ecology, systematics and taxonomy of various groups of fungi, with a focus on basidiomycetes, particularly Auriculariales, Sebacinales, Agaricales.

Current projects

Sebacinales distribution patterns in plant communities 


Undergraduate courses

Introduction into Organismic Botany (lectures and practical)

Determination of Higher Plants (lectures and practical)

Biodiversity in the Cultural Landscape (practical and seminar)

Graduate courses

Biosystematics: the structure of diversity (lectures and seminar)

Reconstructing Phylogenetic Trees from Morphological and Molecular Data (computer practical and seminar)

Molecular Methods in the Systematics of Plants and Fungi (wet lab practical)

Botanical excursions

Citation metrics

Hirsch index: h  =  32 (Thomson Reuters) – 36 (Google Scholar)

Ranking "Evolution" (2010)

Laborjournal online


To receive a pdf copy of an article, please write me an e-mail.
Aime MC, Matheny PB, Henk DA, Frieders EM, Nilsson RH, Piepenbring M, McLaughlin DJ, Szabo LJ, Begerow D, Sampaio JP, Bauer R, Weiß M, Oberwinkler F, Hibbett D (2006) An overview of the higher-level classification of Pucciniomycotina based on combined analyses of nuclear large and small subunit rDNA sequences. Mycologia 98, 896–905.
Basiewicz M, Weiß M, Kogel K-H, Langen G, Zorn H, Zuccaro A (2012). Molecular and phenotypic characterization of a range of Sebacina vermifera strains associated with orchids, and the description of Piriformospora williamsii sp. nov. Fungal Biology 116: 204-213.


Bauer R, Begerow D, Sampaio JP, Weiß M, Oberwinkler F (2006) The simple-septate basidiomycetes: a synopsis. Mycological Progress 5: 41–66.
Bialek R, Weiß M, Bekure-Nemariam K, Najva LK, Alberdi MB, Graybill JR, Reischl U (2002) Detection of Cryptococcus neoformans DNA in tissue samples by nested and real-time PCR assays. Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology 9: 461–469.
Bidartondo MI, Bruns TD, Weiß M, Sérgio C, Read DJ (2003) Specialized cheating of the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis by an epiparasitic liverwort. Proceedings of The Royal Society of London, Series B – Biological Sciences 270: 835–842.
Deshmukh S, Hückelhoven R, Schäfer P, Imani J, Sharma M, Weiß M, Waller F, Kogel K-H (2006) The root endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica requires host cell death for proliferation during mutualistic symbiosis with barley. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 103: 18450–18457.
Fajardo López M, Dietz S, Grunze N, Bloschies J, Weiß M, Nehls U (2008) The sugar porter gene family of Laccaria bicolor: Function in ectomycorrhizal symbiosis and avoidance of carbohydrate leakage. New Phytologist 180: 365–378.
Garnica S, Riess K, Bauer R, Oberwinkler F, Weiß M (2012) Phylogenetic diversity and structure of sebacinoid fungi associated with plant communities along an altitudinal gradient. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 83: 265-278.


Garnica S, Weiß M, Oberwinkler F (2002) New Cortinarius species from Nothofagus forests in South Chile. Mycologia 94: 136–145.
Garnica S, Weiß M, Oberwinkler F (2003a) Morphological and molecular phylogenetic studies in South American Cortinarius species. Mycological Research 107: 1143–1156.
Garnica S, Weiß M, Oertel B, Ammirati J, Oberwinkler F (2009) Phylogenetic relationships in Cortinarius, section Calochroi, inferred from nuclear DNA sequences. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9: 1.
Garnica S, Weiß M, Oertel B, Oberwinkler F (2003b) Phylogenetic relationships of European Phlegmacium species (Cortinarius, Agaricales). Mycologia 95: 1155–1170.
Garnica S, Weiß M, Oertel B, Oberwinkler F (2005) A framework for a phylogenetic classification in the genus Cortinarius (Basidiomycota, Agaricales) derived from morphological and molecular data. Canadian Journal of Botany 83: 1457–1477.
Garnica S, Weiß M, Walther G, Oberwinkler F (2007) Reconstructing the evolution of agarics from nuclear gene sequences and basidiospore ultrastructure. Mycological Research 111: 1019–1029Feature of this article in Science

Gassner P, Mostacero J, Weiß M (2012) Establishing suitable bio-indicators for cloud forest management. Biodiversity Science 7.


Gebhardt H, Weiß M, Oberwinkler F (2005) Dryadomyces amasae: a nutritional fungus associated with ambrosia beetles of the genus Amasa (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae). Mycological Research 109: 687–696.
Göker M, Voglmayr H, Riethmüller A, Weiß M, Oberwinkler F (2003) Taxonomic aspects of Peronosporaceae inferred from Bayesian molecular phylogenetics. Canadian Journal of Botany 81: 672–683.
Göker M, Riethmüller A, Voglmayr H, Weiß M, Oberwinkler F (2004) Phylogeny of Hyaloperonospora based on nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer sequences. Mycological Progress 3: 83–94.
Haug I, Lempe J, Homeier J, Weiß M, Setaro S, Oberwinkler F, Kottke I (2004) Graffenrieda emarginata (Melastomataceae) forms mycorrhizas with Glomeromycota and with a member of the Hymenoscyphus ericae aggregate in the organic soil of a neotropical mountain rain forest. Canadian Journal of Botany 82: 340–356.
Haug I, Weiß M, Homeier J, Oberwinkler F, Kottke I (2005) Russulaceae and Thelephoraceae form ectomycorrhizas with members of the Nyctaginaceae (Caryophyllales) in the tropical mountain rain forest of southern Ecuador. New Phytologist 165: 923–936.
Haug I, Wubet T, Weiß M, Aguirre N, Weber M, Günter S, Kottke I (2010) Species-rich but distinct arbuscular mycorrhizal communities in reforestation plots on degraded pastures and in neighboring pristine tropical mountain rain forest. Journal of Tropical Ecology 51: 125-148.


Hibbett DS, Bauer R, Binder M, Giachini AJ, Hosaka K, Justo K, Larsson E, Larsson KH, Lawrey JD, Miettinen O, Nagy L, Nilsson RH, Weiß M, Thorn RG (2014) Agaricomycetes. In McLaughlin DJ, Spatafora JW (eds) The Mycota – Systematics and Evolution, 2nd edn, vol. 7A. Springer, Berlin (in press)


Hibbett DS, Binder M, Bischoff JF, Blackwell M, ..., Weir A, Weiß M, White MM, Winka K, Yao Y-J, Zhang NA (2007) A higher-level phylogenetic classification of the Fungi. Mycological Research 111: 509-547.


Hynson NA, Weiß M, Preiss K, Gebauer G, Treseder KK. Fungal host specificity is not a bottleneck for the germination of Pyroleae species (Ericaceae) in a Bavarian forest. Molecular Ecology 22: 1473-1481.


Kirschner R, Sampaio JP, Gadanho M, Weiß M, Oberwinkler F (2001) Cuniculitrema polymorpha (Tremellales, gen. nov. and sp. nov.), a heterobasidiomycete vectored by bark beetles, which is the teleomorph of Sterigmatosporidium polymorphum. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 80: 149–161.


Kõljalg U, Nilsson RH, Abarenkov K, Tedersoo L, ..., Taylor DL, Telleria MT, Weiß M, Larsson K-H (2013) Towards a unified paradigm for sequence-based identification of fungi. Molecular Ecology 22: 5271–5277.

Kottke I, Beiter A, Weiß M, Haug I, Oberwinkler F, Nebel M (2003) Heterobasidiomycetes form symbiotic associations with hepatics: Jungermanniales have sebacinoid mycobionts while Aneura pinguis (Metzgeriales) is associated with a Tulasnella species. Mycological Research 107: 957–968.
Kottke I, Haug I, Preußing M, Setaro S, Suárez JP, Weiß M, Nebel M, Oberwinkler F (2008) Guilds of mycorrhizal fungi and their relation to trees, ericads, orchids and liverworts in a neotropical mountain rain forest. Basic and Applied Ecology 9: 13–23.
Kuramae E, Robert V, Snel B, Weiß M, Boekhout T (2006) Phylogenomics reveal a robust fungal tree of life. FEMS Yeast Research 6: 1213–1220.
Maier W, Begerow D, Weiß M, Oberwinkler F (2003) Phylogeny of the rust fungi: an approach using nuclear large subunit ribosomal DNA sequences. Canadian Journal of Botany 81: 12–23.
Marjanović Ž, Uehlein N, Kaldenhoff R, Zwiazek JJ, Weiß M, Hampp R, Nehls U (2005) Aquaporins in poplar: What a difference a symbiont makes! Planta 222: 258–268.
Moncalvo JM, Nilsson RH, Koster B, Dunham SM, Bernauer T, Matheny PB, McLenon T, Margaritescu S, Weiß M, Garnica S, Danell E, Langer G, Langer E, Larsson E, Larsson K-H, Vilgalys R (2006). The cantharelloid clade: dealing with incongruent gene trees and phylogenetic reconstruction methods. Mycologia 937–948.
Nebel M, Kreier H-P, Preußing M, Weiß M, Kottke I (2004) Symbiotic fungal associations of liverworts are the possible ancestors of mycorrhizae. In Agerer R, Piepenbring M, Blanz P (eds) Frontiers in Basidiomycote Mycology, pp 339–360. IHW-Verlag, Eching.


Oberwinkler F, Riess K, Bauer R, Selosse M-A, Weiß M, Garnica R, Zuccaro A (2013) Enigmatic Sebacinales. Mycological Progress 12:1-27.


Preußing M, Nebel M, Oberwinkler F, Weiß M (2010) Diverging diversity patterns in the Tulasnella (Basidiomycota, Tulasnellales) mycobionts of Aneura pinguis (Marchantiophyta, Metzgeriales) from Europe and Ecuador. Mycorrhiza 20: 147-159.
Qiang X, Weiß M, Kogel K-H, Schäfer P. Piriformospora indica – a mutualistic basidiomycete with an exceptionally large plant host range. Molecular Plant Pathology 13: 508-518.


Riethmüller A, Weiß M, Oberwinkler F (1999) Phylogenetic studies of Saprolegniomycetidae and related groups based on nuclear large subunit ribosomal DNA sequences. Canadian Journal of Botany 77: 1790–1800.
Riethmüller A, Voglmayr H, Göker M, Weiß M, Oberwinkler F (2002) Phylogenetic relationships of the downy mildews (Peronosporales) and related groups based on nuclear large subunit ribosomal DNA sequences. Mycologia 94: 834–849.
Sampaio JP, Weiß M, Gadanho M, Bauer R (2002) New taxa in the Tremellales: Bulleribasidium oberjochense gen. et sp. nov., Papiliotrema bandonii gen. et sp. nov. and Fibulobasidium murrhardtense sp. nov. Mycologia 94: 873–887.
Sampaio JP, Gadanho M, Bauer R, Weiß M (2003) Taxonomic studies in the Microbotryomycetidae: Leucosporidium golubevii sp. nov., Leucosporidiella gen. nov. and the new orders Leucosporidiales and Sporidiobolales. Mycological Progress 2: 53–68.
Schoch CL, Seifert KA, Huhndorf S, Robert V, ..., Weir S, Weiß M, White MM, ..., Zhang N, Zhuang W-Y, Schindel D (2012). Nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region as a universal DNA barcode marker for Fungi. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 109: 6241–6246.


Selle A, Willmann M, Grunze N, Geßler A, Weiß M, Nehls U (2005) The high-affinity poplar ammonium importer PttAMT1.2 and its role in ectomycorrhizal symbiosis. New Phytologist 168: 697–706.
Selosse M-A, Weiß M, Jany J-L, Tillier A (2002) Communities and populations of sebacinoid basidiomycetes associated with the achlorophyllous orchid Neottia nidus-avis (L.) L.C.M. Rich. and neighbouring tree ectomycorrhizae. Molecular Ecology 11: 1831–1844.
Selosse M-A, Setaro S, Glatard F, Richard F, Urcelay C, Weiß M (2007) Sebacinales are common mycorrhizal associates of Ericaceae. New Phytologist 174: 864–878.
Setaro S, Weiß M, Oberwinkler F, Kottke I (2006) Sebacinales form ectendomycorrhizas with Cavendishia nobilis, a member of the Andean clade of Ericaceae, in the mountain rain forest of southern Ecuador. New Phytologist 169: 355–365.
Shefferson R, Taylor D, Weiß M, Garnica S, McCormick M, Adams S, Gray H, McFarland J, Kull T, Tali K, Yukawa T, Kawahara T, Miyoshi K, Lee Y-I (2007). The evolutionary history of mycorrhizal specificity among lady's slipper orchids. Evolution 61, 1380–1390.
Shefferson RP, Weiß M, Kull T, Taylor DL (2005) High specificity generally characterizes mycorrhizal association in rare lady’s slipper orchids, genus CypripediumMolecular Ecology 14: 613–626.
Simon UK, Weiß M (2008) Intragenomic variation of fungal ribosomal genes is higher than previously thought. Molecular Biology and Evolution 25: 2251–2254.
Suárez JP, Weiß M, Abele A, Garnica S, Oberwinkler F, Kottke I (2006) Diverse tulasnelloid fungi form mycorrhizas with epiphytic orchids in an Andean cloud forest. Mycological Research 110: 1257–1270.
Suárez JP, Weiß M, Abele A, Oberwinkler F, Kottke I (2008). Members of Sebacinales subgroup B form mycorrhizae with epiphytic orchids in a neotropical mountain rain forest. Mycological Progress 7: 75–85.
Urban A, Weiß M, Bauer R (2003) Ectomycorrhizae involving sebacinoid mycobionts. Mycological Research 107: 3–14.
Voglmayr H, Riethmüller A, Göker M, Weiß M, Oberwinkler F (2004) Phylogenetic relationships of PlasmoparaBremia and other genera of downy mildews with pyriform haustoria based on Bayesian analysis of partial LSU rDNA sequence data. Mycological Research 108: 1011–1024.
Walther G, Garnica S, Weiß M (2005) The systematic relevance of conidiogenesis modes in the gilled Agaricales. Mycological Research 109: 525–544.
Walther G, Weiß M (2006) Anamorphs of the Bolbitiaceae (Basidiomycota, Agaricales). Mycologia 98: 792–800.
Walther G, Weiß M (2008) Anamorphs in the Strophariaceae (Basidiomycota, Agaricales). Botany 86: 551–566.
Weiß M (2004-2010) Molecular Phylogenetic Reconstruction. Version 2010/04/01. 115 pp. Course Manual. Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen. pdf copy
Weiß M (2007) Die verborgene Welt der Sebacinales. Biologen heute 3/2007: 18–23. pdf copy


Weiß M (2011) Sebacinales: Basidiomyceten mit enormem Potential für die Mykorrhizaforschung und für Anwendungen im Pflanzenbau. Journal für Kulturpflanzen 63: 113-114
Weiß M, Bauer R, Begerow D (2004) Spotlights on heterobasidiomycetes. In Agerer R, Piepenbring M, Blanz P (eds) Frontiers in Basidiomycote Mycology, pp 7–48. IHW-Verlag, Eching.


Weiß M, Bauer R, Sampaio JP, Oberwinkler F (2014) Tremellomycetes and related groups. In McLaughlin DJ, Spatafora JW (eds) The Mycota – Systematics and Evolution, 2nd edn, vol. 7A. Springer, Berlin (in press)

Weiß M, Göker M (2011) Molecular phylogenetic reconstruction. In Kurtzman CP, Fell JW, Boekhout T (eds) The Yeasts – A Taxonomic Study. 5th edn, pp 159–174. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
Weiß M, Oberwinkler F (2001) Phylogenetic relationships in Auriculariales and related groups—hypotheses derived from nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences. Mycological Research 105: 403–415.
Weiß M, Selosse M-A, Rexer K-H, Urban A, Oberwinkler F (2004) Sebacinales: A hitherto overlooked cosm of heterobasidiomycetes with a broad mycorrhizal potential. Mycological Research 108: 1003–1010.
Weiß M, Sýkorová Z, Garnica S, Riess K, Martos F, Krause C, Oberwinkler F, Bauer R, Redecker D. (2011) Sebacinales everywhere: previously overlooked ubiquitous fungal endophytes. PLoS ONE 6(2): e16793.


Weiß M, Yang ZL, Oberwinkler F (1998) Molecular phylogenetic studies in the genus AmanitaCanadian Journal of Botany 76: 1170–1179.
Willmann A, Weiß M, Nehls U (2007) Ectomycorrhiza-mediated repression of the high-affinity ammonium importer gene AmAMT2 in Amanita muscariaCurrent Genetics 51: 71–78.
Wubet T, Weiß M, Kottke I, Oberwinkler F (2003a) Morphology and molecular diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in wild and cultivated yew (Taxus baccata L.). Canadian Journal of Botany 81: 255–266.
Wubet T, Weiß M, Kottke I, Oberwinkler F (2006a) Two threatened coexisting indigenous conifer species in the dry Afromontane forests of Ethiopia are associated with distinct arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities. Canadian Journal of Botany 84: 1617–1627.
Wubet T, Weiß M, Kottke I, Teketay D, Oberwinkler F (2003b) Molecular diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in Prunus africana, an endangered medicinal tree species, in dry Afromontane forests of Ethiopia. New Phytologist 161: 517–528.
Wubet T, Weiß M, Kottke I, Teketay D, Oberwinkler F (2006b) Phylogenetic analysis of nuclear small subunit rDNA sequences suggests that the endangered African Pencil Cedar, Juniperus procera Hochst. ex Endl., is associated with distinct members of Glomeraceae. Mycological Research 110: 1059–1069.
Yang ZL, Weiß M, Kottke I, Oberwinkler F, Nehls U, Guttenberger M, Hampp R (1999) Amanita. In Cairney JWG, Chambers SM (eds) Ectomycorrhizal Fungi: Key genera in Profile, pp 201–230. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.
Yang ZL, Weiß M, Oberwinkler F (2004) New species of Amanita from the eastern Himalaya and adjacent regions. Mycologia 96: 636–646.


Zelck UE, Bialek R, Weiß M (2011) Molecular phylogenetic analysis of Enterobius vermicularis and development of an 18S ribosomal DNA-targeted diagnostic PCR. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 49: 1602-1604.