Phagocytic escape

Fungi are using different strategies to avoid the deadly attacks and being eaten by innate immune cells. One way is to protect the surface of their spores by amorphous pigments and hydrophobic protein layers from recognition. We are particularly interested in whether these mechanisms are also targeted against amoebae and hence, are advantageous in natural environments. To approach these questions, we are exploiting the versatile model amoeba Dictyostelium and their lesser-known, but exclusively fungivorous relative, Protostelium mycophaga.