Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica

Dr. Ko-Hsuan Chen Assistant Research Fellow

Lab PI

Dr. Ko-Hsuan Chen

Assistant Research Fellow

PhD, Duke University, Department of Biology, 2017

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Office: Interdisciplinary Research Building for Science and Technology B301


Research Fields
  • Mycology
  • Plant-fungal interaction
  • Plant & Soil Microbiome
  • Fungal Systematics
  • Community and functional ecology

Research Directions

Plant-fungal symbioses are common in nature. However, these symbiotic relationships could be dynamic, ranging from mutualistic, commensal, to parasitic. The outcomes of these interactions are often based on the communications and benefits exchanged between the plant host and the associated fungi. The plant-fungal interactions not only determine the mycobiome (i.e. fungal communities) of plants, the long-term co-evolution between them also shape the biodiversity of both plant and fungi. Plant and fungi together play critical roles in global nutrient cycling and ecosystem functioning. Therefore, understanding plant-fungal interaction is fundamental for us to prepare for the ever-changing environment.

Our lab uses integrated approaches to study plant-fungal symbiosis. In particular, we implement next-generation sequencing (i.e. amplicon sequencing, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics) in combination with data of phenotypes and environmental variables. With this information, we aim to understand the following questions in the forest and agricultural systems in Taiwan or nearby regions.

-Community Ecology: How do plant diversity and distribution shape the associated fungal community?

-Functional Ecology: What are the functionalities of different fungal assemblies in association with plants? What are the environmental factors that influence the mycobiome functionalities?

-Fungal systematics: Are there fungal diversity hidden in association with plants, if so, how are they related to other lineages of fungi evolutionarily?


Currently, we focus on the following plant-fungal systems:

  • Bryophytes-associated fungi

Bryophytes represent the earliest plant lineage in the terrestrial ecosystem. Therefore, knowledge of bryophyte-fungal interactions can provide key insights in plant-fungal co-evolution.

  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi

In general, ectomycorrhizal fungi help their plant hosts to gain nitrogen and other nutrients from soil. In return, they acquire carbon sources from the plant hosts.

Plant-ectomycorrhiza associations often requires high specificity, making it a good model to examine the establishment and maintenance of plant-fungal symbiosis.

  • Grass-associated epiphytes

Epiphytic fungi are common in grass species (the family Poaceae) but are often neglected in studies. Because many grass species are of high economic values to human, understanding the potential benefits and harm grass epiphytic fungi may have is of critical importance.


Latest published paper

期刊論文 ( 2016 - 2021 )

  1. Hoeksema Jason D.*, Averill Colin, Bhatnagar Jennifer M., Brzostek Edward, Buscardo Erika, Chen Ko-Hsuan, Liao Hui-Ling, Nagy Laszlo, Policelli Nahuel, Ridgeway Joanna, Rojas J. Alejandro, Vilgalys Rytas, 2020, “Ectomycorrhizal Plant-Fungal Co-invasions as Natural Experiments for Connecting Plant and Fungal Traits to Their Ecosystem Consequences”, Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 3, 84. Link
  2. Chen Ko‐Hsuan*, Liao Hui‐Ling, Bellenger Jean‐Philippe, Lutzoni François, 2019, “Differential gene expression associated with fungal trophic shifts along the senescence gradient of the moss Dicranum scoparium”, Environmental Microbiology, 21(7) 2273-2289. (SCIE) (IF: 4.933; SCIE ranking: 19.9%) Link
  3. Beule Lukas, Chen Ko-Hsuan, Hsu Chih-Ming, Mackowiak Cheryl, Dubeux Jr. Jose C.B., Blount Ann, Liao Hui-Ling*, 2019, “Soil bacterial and fungal communities of six bahiagrass cultivars”, PeerJ, 7 e7014. (SCIE) (IF: 2.379; SCIE ranking: 45.1%) Link
  4. Bonito Gregory*, Benucci Gian Maria Niccolò, Hameed Khalid, Weighill Deborah, Jones Piet, Chen Ko-Hsuan, Jacobson Daniel, Schadt Christopher, Vilgalys Rytas, 2019, “Fungal-Bacterial Networks in the Populus Rhizobiome Are Impacted by Soil Properties and Host Genotype”, Frontiers in Microbiology, 10. (SCIE) (IF: 4.236; SCIE ranking: 25%) Link
  5. Chen Ko-Hsuan, Blount Ann, Justesen Brittany, Walter Joseph H., Wallau Marcelo, Liao Hui-Ling*, 2019, “First Report of the Association of Myriogenospora atramentosa with the Plant Genus Hemarthria”, Plant Health Progress, 244-246. Link
  6. Chen Ko-Hsuan*, Liao Hui-Ling, Arnold A. Elizabeth, Bonito Gregory, Lutzoni François, 2018, “RNA-based analyses reveal fungal communities structured by a senescence gradient in the moss Dicranum scoparium and the presence of putative multi-trophic fungi”, New Phytologist, 218(4) 1597-1611. (SCIE) (IF: 8.512; SCIE ranking: 3%) Link
  7. Korotkin Hailee B., Swenie Rachel A., Miettinen Otto, Budke Jessica M., Chen Ko-Hsuan, Lutzoni François, Smith Matthew E., Matheny P. Brandon*, 2018, “Stable isotope analyses reveal previously unknown trophic mode diversity in the Hymenochaetales”, American Journal of Botany, 105(11) 1869-1887. (SCIE) (IF: 3.038; SCIE ranking: 20.5%) Link